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Texas lawmakers: Concealed guns bill needed
The Associated Press via The Courier    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
This week's gunfire at a Houston-area college has prompted new calls for allowing concealed handgun license holders to carry their weapons into Texas college buildings and classrooms as a measure of self-defense. Texas lawmakers already are considering a bill that allows concealed handguns in college classrooms. A similar measure failed in 2011, but last month's shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., already had helped renew the debate over safety in schools, and Tuesday's gunfire at Lone Star College had supporters looking to rally more support. State Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, who filed the Campus Personal Protection Act, called the Lone Star College shooting a prime example for the need for his bill. More

Henderson County Sheriff's Office to add armored vehicle
The Monitor    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Henderson County, Texas, Sheriff's Office soon will have quick access to its own armored vehicle. County Commissioners approved the purchase of a BearCat, the same kind of vehicle borrowed from the Tyler Police Department in 2010. The BearCat served Athens well when it was used to confront survivalist Howard Todd Granger in a four-hour police standoff, in October 2010. Granger fired about 100 rounds from an AK-47 at the armored vehicle before getting taken down by a well-aimed sniper round. Not a single round fired at the SWAT team penetrated the vehicle, including the windows. More

FBI names Little Elm safest city in Texas
KTVT-TV    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A newly released FBI report has named Little Elm the safest city in Texas and the 18th safest city in the nation, among all cities with a population over 25,000 people. The report, conducted in 2011, assessed cities in terms of the number of violent and property crimes. Little Elm had the lowest number of combined crimes among all Texas cities. The list of analyzed crimes includes burglary, larceny theft, motor vehicle theft, murder, forcible rape, armed robbery and aggravated assault. The report takes the total number of these crimes and compares it to a city's population in order to develop a ranking. Little Elm received an overall score of 84, meaning that it is safer than 84 percent of all cities nationwide. More

License plate readers popular among Texas law enforcement, raises questions among critics
KTVT-TV    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Automated license plate readers are becoming a popular tool among law enforcement in North Texas. The Dallas City Council recently approved a contract to buy 28 license plate readers for the police department. The Arlington Police Department has had the readers on five patrol vehicles for nearly two years. The department was one of the first in the state to use the controversial readers. With four cameras mounted on top of a patrol vehicle, the readers are designed to scan thousands of license plates instantly alerting officers of stolen vehicles and fugitives. The scanned licenses are stored in a database, which has caused critics to question the practice. More

Orange County, Fla., sheriff: Drones won't be used for spying
Orlando Sentinel via Bradenton Herald    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings unveiled his department's two surveillance drones recently and vowed that the sophisticated devices would not be used to spy on innocent civilians. "This is not about intruding," Demings said at a demonstration of the devices at the Sheriff's Office gun range. "We're not going into any homes." Demings said the drones would be used for hostage situations, chemical spills or when searching for someone missing in the woods. The drones are essentially miniature helicopters with wingspans of about 3 feet and capable of flying almost silently about 15 minutes at a time. More

West Virginia sheriffs want access to state's prescription drug tracking system
The Fayette Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
County sheriffs from around West Virginia made it clear during three days of legislative interim meetings recently that they will be pressuring legislators to grant them access to the state's prescription drug tracking system. Currently only about 15 members of the West Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation and an equal number of drug task forces around the state have access to this system. This system collects information about controlled substances, doctors who prescribe these drugs, the pharmacies that dispense them and the individuals who purchase them. Cabell County Sheriff Tom McComas asked members of a legislative subcommittee to consider expanding that access to sheriffs of counties not covered by a drug task force. More

The next steps in studying crime
The Crime Report    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Until this year, the National Institute of Justice, which oversees federal research on crime and justice issues, was headed by John H. Laub of the University of Maryland, a former president of the American Society of Criminology. Laub's appointment, in 2009, by President Barack Obama, represented the first time in its nearly 40-year history that the NIJ was run by an academic criminologist. This month, Laub left NIJ to return to teaching at Maryland, making him the second major justice agency head to depart as the Obama administration begins a second term. James Lynch recently left his post as director of the Bureau of Justice Statistics. In a recent Q&A with The Crime Report, Lynch discussed the challenge of working under sharply diminished federal budgets. More

What's missing in US gun control scramble? Bullets for officers
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In tracking down illegal weapons, the smoking gun may not be a gun at all. Bullets are one thing Sacramento Police Det. Greg Halstead can count on to root out weapons that otherwise would be impossible to find. They also largely are missing from the gun control debate in Washington. Halstead begins his day looking at a list of buyers, picking out the ones who aren't supposed to own ammunition — or guns. The thumbprint left by each prohibited buyer nearly is perfect evidence of crime. Although the gun control initiatives launched by President Barack Obama in response to December's Connecticut school massacre are the most sweeping in decades, they are more focused on guns than bullets and omitted several controls on ammunition that some law enforcement officials say could help. More


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