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East Texas law enforcement changes active shooter policy
KLTV-TV
Traditionally, potential victims have been told to either flee or hide during an active shooting situation. But now, police training videos are encouraging a third option. It's a major shift in law enforcement policy — fighting back as a final line of defense — and it's one that East Texas law enforcement and school districts are considering with care. In training videos, like one from the city of Houston, police are now including instructions on fighting back in active shooting situations, but only as a last resort.
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Texas lawmakers seek to block federal gun control
The Associated Press via KTRK-TV
Police officers could be charged with a crime for enforcing new federal gun control laws in Texas under a proposal by a lawmaker who acknowledges the measure likely would end up in the U.S. Supreme Court. State Rep. Steve Toth, a newly elected Republican from The Woodlands, said his proposal would prevent officers from carrying out any future federal orders to confiscate assault rifles and ammunition magazines.
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Is California county inching toward drone deployment?
Wired
Will Alameda County become California's first local government to deploy a drone? If the decision were up to dozens of angry residents and several civil rights groups, the answer would be a resounding "No." They urged the Bay Area county's leaders, in a recent public hearing sometimes filled with acrimony to squash a plan by the Alameda County Sheriff's Department to deploy up to two small, lightweight drones.
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Texas Rangers launch Web page for statewide cold cases
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
A new Texas Department of Public Safety website is breathing life into unsolved cold cases across the state. The website contains information on 68 unsolved cases dating back to 1978. "Cold cases are typically challenging to solve for a variety of reasons, but we want to send a clear message that we are not giving up on these murder victims," said DPS Director Steven McCraw in a news release about the new Web page, which recently was unveiled. "Our goal for this Web page — and the investigative efforts supporting it — is to shine a new light on these crimes, so they are not forgotten."
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UNT police launch online reporting tool
Denton Record-Chronicle
University of North Texas police recently unveiled what they are hoping is a simpler way to report crimes that occur on campus. An online reporting system has been up on the UNT police website for two weeks and has since received 11 reports, according to Cpl. John DeLong, department spokesman. With the new online reporting system, one can report harassment, hit and runs, vandalism, thefts, lost property, identity thefts and vehicle burglaries. Police say the online tool is not intended to replace 911 as a way to report emergencies or crimes in progress.
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Texas bill would allow veterans to skip police training
KTVT-TV
Texas lawmakers likely will see a bill in the next legislative session allowing some military veterans to skip most police academy training en route to becoming a sworn police officer. The bill will be named for highly decorated Navy SEAL Chris Kyle who was working with the Dalworthington Gardens police chief and a Tarrant County constable on the idea before Kyle was shot to death Feb. 2. Kyle thought the proposal would be good not just for the police departments but for the veterans suddenly thrust into the civilian world.
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Police dog group in Alvin for 3rd weeklong training
The Alvin Sun Advertiser
This year marks the fourth annual International Police Working Dog Association conference, training and certification held in Texas and the third to be hosted by the Alvin Police K-9 Division. Each year, 50 plus canine handlers and their canine partners come to Alvin to attend this conference offered by the nonprofit organization which certifies and trains police canines around the world. The police canine handlers partners are provided the most advanced and up to date training in techniques and case law specific to their specialties. This certification provides protection to the handlers when they are called into court and while protecting their respective communities.
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Juice flows to new 2013 Zero Motorcycles police model
AutoblogGreen
Any "CHiPs" fanatic who has ever wondered what it'd be like for Ponch and Jon to not have to yell over their Kawasaki bike engines, it's Zero Motorcycles to the rescue. The California-based maker of electric-powered motorcycles made a version of its DS available for police work last year and is expanding that option to the S model. Zero says it plans to boost production of police- and security-oriented bikes because more squads in Asia, Europe and South America are "taking interest" in electric-powered motorcycles. The good news is that the 2013 versions of the DS and S are about twice as powerful as the 2012 variants and can go about 10 percent further on a full charge.
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Police enlist wartime tech in crime fight
The Washington Post
Wartime technology used by soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan increasingly is making its way to U.S. cities and towns, changing the way police investigate crimes by focusing not where crimes have happened but where they most likely will happen next. One of the latest technologies, called "geospatial predictive analytics," has helped police chase copper thieves in Virginia and a strangler in Philadelphia — and enabled officers to smartly deploy police across the Washington region during the mysterious shootings of military installations in 2010.
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Social trends driving American gangs, gun violence
The Atlantic
The Atlantic has spent the weeks since the shootings at Newtown, Conn., thinking about the role of guns in America. In their ongoing effort to broaden the conversation, they spent some time talking to Professor Harold Pollack, who co-directs the Crime Lab at the University of Chicago. Pollack is one of the foremost voices on gun violence from a public health perspective. Pollack and his colleagues at the Crime Lab have done yeoman's work in helping understand how guns end up on the streets of cities like Chicago, and how precisely they tend to be used.
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