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Tag: Local Law Enforcement

Justice Department Awards $37M to Address Backlog in Rape Kits

police tapeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department plans to use $37 million to help state, local and tribal governments address a backlog of sexual assault evidence that is preventing the capture  of violent offenders.

The grants are intended to help law enforcement reduce the backlog of sexual assault kits to help track down rapists, the Los Alamos Daily Post reports

“There is no greater injustice to a victim of sexual assault than a failure on the part of the system to exhaust its investigative possibilities,” said Alan Hanson, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs. “These awards will supply badly needed resources and manpower to our nation’s law enforcement agencies and prosecutors helping investigators and analysts do the urgent work of closing out cases and bringing answers to survivors.”

The Post wrote:

Administered through the National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative, managed by the Office of Justice Programs’ Bureau of Justice Assistance, 21 grant awards totaling more than $35 million were awarded to improve the processing of sexual assault kits and strengthen jurisdictions’ capacity to act on evidence resulting from kit processing. Those awards are available online at: https://www.bja.gov/funding/FY-2017-National-Sexual-Assault-Kit-Initiative-Funding-Awards.pdf 

Solving sex crimes and bringing perpetrators to justice requires a thorough understanding of the value of sexual assault evidence and a solid commitment to submitting sexual assault kits for testing. OJP’s resources help jurisdictions reduce their inventory of unsubmitted kits, bring offenders to justice, provide answers to victims and restore the safety of our communities.

The Sexual Assault Kit Initiative provides competitive grants for teams committed to reforming how their jurisdictions deal with cases of sexual assault. SAKI helps jurisdictions address the issues that lead to delayed testing of kits by providing funds to inventory, test and track sexual assault kits, as well as collect and submit DNA from suspects to the FBI’sCombined DNA Index System and hire crime analysts. The grants also support the investigation and prosecution of resulting cases and support the victims of sexual assault.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Offers to Help Local Law Enforcement Unlock iPhones for Investigations

Apple-iphoneBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is offering to help local law enforcement bypass security features on the iPhone.

“In mid-March, an outside party demonstrated to the FBI a possible method for unlocking the iPhone,” the letter obtained by BuzzFeed News reads. “That method for unlocking that specific iPhone proved successful.”

The letter, in response to questions from local law enforcement about the technique used to open the phone, continued, “We are in this together.”

Numerous law enforcement agencies have reported trouble opening locked iPhones.

Apple has refused to help, saying it would set a dangerous precedent that would compromise the security and privacy of the phones.

The FBI said its method for opening an iPhone is classified.

FBI Wildly Undercounts Number of Police Officers Killed in High-Speed Chases

police lightsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Although the USA Today has tallied more than 370 police officers who were killed  in high-speed chases since 1980, the FBI put the number of fatalities at just 24.

The USA Today arrived at the number by analyzing U.S. Department of Transportation records.

The newspaper also found that chases are the fifth-leading cause of death among police.

The USA Today found:

The undercount is one of the most extreme examples of the federal government’s inability to accurately track violent deaths, and has led the FBI to minimize the danger of police chasing motorists, often at high speeds and in dangerous conditions, at a time when many police departments are restricting or considering restricting vehicle pursuits.

“The fact that these numbers have been undercounted further emphasizes the magnitude of the problem and the need for sensible restrictions on pursuit driving,” said Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, a think tank on law-enforcement issues. “This is important for the safety of officers and citizens alike.”

The FBI responded by saying it plans to improve how it counts the number of officers killed in high-speed chases.

FBI’s Sophisticated Database to Catch Serial Killers, Rapists Is Squandered

fbi logo large

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI built a sophisticated database to help catch serial killers and rapists but hardly anyone used it since its launch more than three decades ago, Newsweek reports.

The idea was to help local, state and federal law enforcement discern behavioral patterns, like the type of knife used or how a body was disposed.

Trouble is, law enforcement used the technology, called Violent Criminal Apprehension Program, or ViCap, in less than 1% of the violent crimes committed a year.

The FBI hasn’t divulged how many crimes ViCap has helped solve. In a 12-year period ending in the 1990s, only 33 crimes were linked to the use of the system, Newsweek wrote.

The program cost taxpayers about $30 million.

FBI Agent Shocked When Cleveland Police Unable to Help Tamir Rice After Shooting

Tamir Rice

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

An FBI agent who made a desperate, last-minute attempt to save the life of Tamir Rice said he was as shocked as anyone that Cleveland Police were unable to properly respond to the 12-year-old boy’s emergency medical needs after officers shot him.

The agent, who has not been identified publicly, said he arrived to find Tamir’s abdomen split open, his small intestines spilling from his body, WKYC.com reports.

The agent looked at officers for help but they stood no chance.

“What medical gear do you have?” the agent asked, according too a sheriff’s investigation. “Give me your first-aid kits and the medical equipment you have (and) they’re like, uh, we don’t have any. I said how about some gloves? and uh, some guy threw me a pair of gloves.'”

Last week, the city received 800 first-aid kits to address the shortfall, which was exposed by WXYC.

Opinion: Border Buildup Along Canadian Border Is Excessive

Tom Dennis
Grand Forks Herald

Helping local law enforcement is all well and good.

But that’s not why the United States beefed up the Border Patrol along the Canadian border to 10 times its pre-Sept. 11 size, an expansion.

Instead, that expansion from Maine to Washington was done for one and only one reason — the same reason why people now need passports to cross the border; the same reason why trade between the two countries remains impaired.

The reason was to better prevent terrorists from crossing the border.

How goes that struggle?

That’s the question Americans should be asking, because lots of money is being spent and manpower is being deployed based on what Washington thinks is the answer.

To read more click here.

New Head of FBI Office in Boston Pledges to Continue Probing Boston Marathon Bombing

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Newly appointed chief of Boston’s FBI office, Vincent Lisi, said his office is nowhere close to being finished investigating the Boston marathon bombing shootings, The Boston Globe reports.

“We owe that to the victims of the bombing,” Vincent B. Lisi, special agent in charge of the Boston FBI, told the Globe. “Our focus, commitment, is that nobody in our office will rest until we’ve identified everyone that had anything to do with the bombing and make sure they face justice.”

The 49-year-old began his career in 1989. Since then, he’s investigated gangs and drug dealers. He also served as deputy assistant director of the Counterintelligence Division at FBI headquarters.

While head of the Boston office, Lisi said he wants to improve the relationship between the FBI and local law enforcement to better respond to emergencies such as terrorist attacks.

ATF Proposes Closing Loophole for People Obtaining Guns though Corporations or Legal Trusts

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

ATF is proposing to end a loophole that allows people to obtain weapons such as machine guns though corporations or legal trusts without a background check, Courthouse News Service reports.

Anyone wanting to buy a gun is required to file a photo and fingerprint card with the ATF and a local law enforcement agency.

But that’s not the case “if the applicant or transferee is a partnership, company, association, trust or corporation,” Courthouse News Service reported.

The number of those legal organizations increased from 840 in 2000 to 40,700 in 2012, according to the agency.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST