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Undue force: Baltimore's police brutality epidemic
The Baltimore Sun
On a cold January afternoon, Jerriel Lyles parked his car in front of the P&J Carry Out on East Monument Street and darted inside to buy some food. After paying for a box of chicken, he noticed a big guy in jeans, a hooded sweatshirt and a baseball cap. “What’s up?” the man said to Lyles. Others, also dressed in jeans and hoodies, blocked the door to the street — making Lyles fear that he would be robbed. Instead, the man identified himself a police officer, frisked Lyles and demanded he sit on the greasy floor. Lyles objected.
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FastFWD, Philadelphia's public safety accelerator, rethinks itself
Technical.ly
Weth FastFWD, the Bloomberg Foundation-backed public safety startup accelerator, the City of Philadelphia and its partners had an ambitious, though wonky, goal: To update the procurement process. By cutting through the red tape for startups looking to contract with the city, FastFWD could bring in more innovative answers to the city’s toughest problems. Generations-long cycles of poverty and violence and crime needed fresh solutions.
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Mixed reviews on Mississippi DUI enforcement changes
Claims Journal
Changes in Mississippi’s DUI law that are due go into effect soon are getting mixed reviews from some in the judicial system. The Mississippi Legislature drafted the new laws in 2013, with the stipulation that the changes would take effect this year. Legislators also made some changes during the 2014 session. According to a summary of the law, when a person is convicted of their first offense DUI, the court will order them to complete an alcohol safety education program within a year and the Department of Public Safety must suspend their license if they have not already done so.
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California adopts 'yes means yes' sexual assault rule
The Associated Press via The Huffington Post
Gov. Jerry Brown recently announced that he has signed a bill that makes California the first in the nation to define when "yes means yes" and adopt requirements for colleges to follow when investigating sexual assault reports. State lawmakers last month approved SB967 by Sen. Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, as states and universities across the U.S. are under pressure to change how they handle rape allegations.
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Apple and Google threaten public safety with default smartphone encryption
The Washington Post
Apple and Google , whose operating systems run a combined 96.4 percent of smartphones worldwide, announced that their new operating systems will prevent them from complying with U.S. judicial warrants ordering them to unlock users’ passcode-protected mobile devices. Each company tweaked the code of its new and forthcoming mobile operating systems — iOS 8 and Android “L,” respectively — for this explicit purpose.
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'Pedal pubs' could carry beer and wine under Michigan's new legislation
Mlive.com
What do beer-loving cyclists and limousines have in common? The answer may be quite a lot if the legislature passes bills that would regulate “pedal pubs,” contraptions where multiple people could bike and drink at the same time, in a similar fashion to other multi-passenger vehicles. Like with limousines, occupants of the vehicle could drink while a sober operator was in control of the vehicle.
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Pennsylvania state legislature weighs in on school safety
The Sentinel
Schools are considered a gun-free zone under current Pennsylvania law. It is a first-degree misdemeanor to have a knife, cutting instrument, cutting tool, nunchuck, firearm, shotgun, rifle and any other tool, instrument or implement capable of inflicting serious bodily injury in a school building or on school grounds. There are a few exceptions to the law. School districts may employ armed officers, and there are typically two different varieties of these officers.
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St. Louis police unit to focus specifically on police shootings
Governing
Shootings here have always been investigated as possible crimes — unless the person pulling the trigger was a police officer. But now, a full-time team of detectives charged with making sure use of deadly force is legal will scrutinize every St. Louis city officer who kills or wounds someone with a gun. This is in addition to the usual Internal Affairs investigation.
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New York politicians ride subways amid terror warning to allay fears
The Wall Street Journal
Police recently increased security measures at transit hubs around New York City, hours after Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said that his security forces uncovered a plot to attack its transit systems. Still, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner William Bratton said the NYPD’s Intelligence Bureau found “no specific credible threat” against the city or its subway system.
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A new breed of wearables shows promise for public safety
StateTech
An ingested sensor that tracks heart rate sends a signal to pull a firefighter from a burning building before cardiac distress sets in. A pocket-sized device sends a reading of blood alcohol content to an offender's probation officer. And a placebo-and-patch combo monitors whether patients take their medications at the right time. While consumer devices such as Fitbit have taken off, the next boom in wearable technology will come from electronics that can be ingested or implanted to measure the body's rhythms and rates, according to the World Economic Forum. A few governments are already benefiting from these technologies.
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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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