Texas Sheriffs Today
Feb. 15, 2013

Sheriff's organized crime unit going after 'big fish' in narcotics, gambling
Waco Tribune-Herald
A newly formed organized crime unit at the McLennan County Sheriff's Office is looking to fill a vacancy left by a multiagency drug task force dismantled years ago. The unit, headed by Capt. Shawn Lippe, is charged with investigating higher-level illegal narcotics cases. Part of new McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara’s reorganized administration, the unit's formation was also a major platform in his campaign.More

Farmers Branch Police use technology to limit officers typing, driving
KXAS-TV
Farmers Branch will become the first police department in Texas to use a new device that prevents officers from typing on dashboard computers while driving faster than 15 mph. The department told NBC 5 Investigates that it plans to outfit all of its police cars with the Archangel II, a system that connects the officer's dashboard computer to the car’s onboard computer. Archangel locks the computer keyboard when the car exceeds a speed of 15 mph. "There won't be an officer driving a Farmers Branch police car going 50 miles an hour driving down the road typing on the keyboard," said Deputy Chief Mark Young.More

Some West Virginia sheriffs seek optional photo ID on concealed weapons permits
The Associated Press via The Republic
West Virginia law requires only the owner's name and address on a concealed weapon permit. Now some sheriffs are considering a photo ID as an optional addition. While not a requirement, the photo would be an easy way to verify information and ensure safety, Putnam County Sheriff Steve Deweese told The Charleston Gazette. He believes it eventually will become a state law.More

New emergency alert system put to the test in Jefferson County, Colo.
The Denver Post
Jefferson County officials have tested a new emergency-notification system that they hope will not suffer the kinds of problems that led to homes failing to get warned of an advancing wildfire last spring. The new CodeRed notification service — operated by Florida-based Emergency Communications Network — replaced Louisiana-based FirstCall, which has insisted its service did not fail last year. "There is no perfect system," said Jefferson County Sheriff's spokesman Mark Techmeyer. "We have a lot of confidence in what CodeRed is bringing to the table. We are still never going to be 100 percent on any reverse-911 call. It's just another tool in the toolbox."More

Ammunition prices nearly double for Eau Claire County, Wis., Sheriff's Department
WQOW-TV
Gun control has been a big topic lately. The uncertainty over how, or if, policy will be changed has caused demand for ammunition to skyrocket, which is driving up prices. It's forcing one Wisconsin law enforcement agency to re-examine the budget. It's a cost that the Eau Claire County Sheriff's Department did not expect. Their ammunition prices have almost doubled in the past few months. "It's crept up incrementally, but not huge. Not like this, we've not seen a spike like this," says Sheriff Ron Cramer. The cost of ammunition is on the rise for the Eau Claire County Sheriff's Department.More

Riverside Sheriff's Office clarifies DUI arrests following newspaper report
Temecula Patch
After The Press-Enterprise published a Feb. 6 report stating that most drunken drivers are cited and released if pulled over by officers from the Riverside, Calif., Police Department, the Riverside County Sheriff's Department made a point of clarifying its protocol: "Ninety-nine percent of all DUI arrestees [are booked] into jails." Although the sheriff's department sends offenders to county jail, "typically DUI arrestees are only held in ... custody until sober and then given court dates so they do not impact our overcrowding crisis. The jails do not release intoxicated subjects back onto the street," said Sgt. Lisa McConnell of the sheriff's department.More

DNA backlog stymies development of 'CSI'-like inventions
Nextgov
The need to clear a bottleneck of unanalyzed DNA is undermining the Justice Department's ability to drive innovations that could more quickly solve the backlog problem and new cases, some law enforcement experts say. While police technology is nowhere close to what audiences see on forensic science dramas such as "CSI" and "NCIS," so-called rapid DNA tools could move law enforcement in that direction. But, backlog reduction programs account for the majority of DNA funding from the National Institute of Justice, the department's research and development arm and the only federal agency that provides resources for unclogging backlogs at crime labs.More

To chase or not to chase, law enforcement officers make quick decisions
WIS-TV
Choosing to chase a suspect is one of those tough decisions for police. There are lots of factors to consider: where you are, time of day, and threat to others. Every department has its own rules to follow. WIS-TV went through the 1.8-mile Response Operations Course at the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy in Columbia. While all department policies are different, it gives officers the basics.More