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News Archive

Crime Victim Awareness Through the Decades

December 6, 2019

In 1974, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) launched a new initiative to fund research that analyzed the needs and problems of crime victims. This initiative has flourished over the past 45 years, as NIJ has continued to play an integral role in performing and funding research on issues critical to victim recovery and evaluating victim services.

NIJ funding has spanned from early victim and witness programs, to experiments to find ways to deter intimate partner violence, to evaluation of grant programs funded by the Office for Victims of Crime to support wraparound legal services for victims.

Online Course: Designing Effective Community Responses to Radicalization to Violence

December 6, 2019

Designing Effective Community Responses to Radicalization to Violence (DECRRV) is a six-week, no-cost online course that provides an interactive, hands-on opportunity to apply design thinking methodologies to the development of community-based Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) efforts. This course was developed by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) and funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency's National Training and Education Division.

After taking this course, participants will be able to:

  • Explain how whole community approaches to CVE can build resilience to hazards.
  • Identify the five phases of the design thinking process and associated techniques.
  • Describe how design thinking methods can be used to develop a community-based program to counter violent extremism.
  • Utilize design thinking to develop a community engagement program to counter violent extremism.

New Website: AMBER Alert in Indian Country

December 6, 2019

A newly redesigned AMBER Alert website now features Indian Country resources. From the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), the refreshed AMBER Alert website now includes access to the AMBER Alert in Indian Country website, a summary of the AMBER Alert in Indian Country Initiative, and training and technical assistance resources. The website, managed by the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), provides resources to help regional and state-level AMBER Alert training and coordination efforts and links to resources that support the AMBER Alert program through national partners and OJJDP grantees.

NIBRS Transition: National Crime Statistics Exchange

November 29, 2019

The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Criminal Justice Information Systems (CJIS), are spearheading the National Crime Statistics Exchange (NCS-X) to increase the number of law enforcement agencies reporting detailed crime data to the FBI’s National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). NCS-X is enrolling an additional 400 scientifically selected agencies to report to NIBRS, including all of the largest agencies in the United States. Once data from the 400 NCS-X agencies are combined with the nearly 7,000 current NIBRS-reporting agencies, the nation will have detailed crime information from law enforcement agencies that serve an estimated two-thirds of American citizens, and from which national estimates can be accurately developed. 

The majority of BJS funds from this program have provided direct resources to state and local law enforcement agencies. Funds also have supported training and technical assistance and the development of statistical estimation procedures.

Stopping Fentanyl at the Border

November 29, 2019

In this article from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), scientists discuss the effectiveness of chemical screening at points of entry. According to the Drug Enforcement Agency there are large quantities of the synthetic drug fentanyl flowing into the country at ports of entry along the Southwest border. Because this drug drives a nationwide overdose epidemic, law enforcement agencies are considering technologies that might help stem the flow.

These NIST Scientists have tested whether a chemical detection technology called ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) can be used to screen vehicles for fentanyl. Their results show that IMS can be effective for this purpose and include sensitivity levels, error rates, and other performance metrics that can help authorities weigh the costs and benefits of using this technology.

Guide to Addressing Crime Hot Spots

November 29, 2019

Under the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s (BJA) Strategies for Policing Innovation (SPI) initiative the problem-oriented policing (POP) guide Understanding and Responding to Crime and Disorder Hot Spots was recently released. This guide was developed in collaboration with the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing at Arizona State University and BJA.

The POP guide examines:

  • Defining what crime hot spots are and discussing why they are important.
  • Identifying crime-concentrated areas.
  • Addressing crime hot spots with effective policing strategies.

Webinar: Mass Shootings and Victim Considerations During Prosecution

November 29, 2019

Join the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (APA) for their webinar “Mass Shootings and Victim Considerations.” This webinar will focus on a topical and complex subject that is likely at the forefront of many prosecutors’ minds. District Attorney George Brauchler—widely known as the prosecutor of James Holmes, the Aurora, Colorado, gunman—will examine the issues district attorneys face while prosecuting mass-shooting cases. He will provide anecdotal insights and lessons learned along the way. This webinar is part of APA’s Capital Litigation Improvement Project webinar series.

Date: Wednesday, December 4, 2019
Time: 3:00 – 4:00 p.m., ET

FBI Report: Hate Crime Statistics

November 29, 2019

There were over 7,000 reported incidents of hate crimes in 2018 according to the latest statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in its annual report, Hate Crime Statistics, 2018. While overall incidents of hate crimes remained relatively flat between 2017 and 2018, incidents of violent attacks rose. 

Of the more than 5,500 offenses classified as crimes against persons, 46 percent were for intimidation, 34 percent were for simple assault, and 18.4 percent were for aggravated assault. In addition, 24 murders and 22 rapes were classified as hate crimes. 

Law Enforcement Dog Encounters Training

November 22, 2019

The Office of Community Oriented Police Services publishes materials for law enforcement and community stakeholders collaboratively addressing crime and disorder challenges. These free publications provide best-practice approaches and access to collective knowledge from the field.

Its newest release, Law Enforcement Dog Encounters Training (LEDET): A Toolkit for Law Enforcement, is designed to help law enforcement officers deal with dog encounters. Use of force by law enforcement officers, deadly or otherwise, has become a major issue before the public. As human cases have become more visible, so have cases in which law enforcement officers have used deadly force against companion dogs. The purpose of this toolkit is to provide law enforcement agencies and officers with the information, tools, and resources necessary to handle dog encounters.

American Indian Justice Conference-December 5–6, 2019

November 22, 2019

The American Indian Justice Conference (taking place on December 5–6, 2019, in Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico) is a free event that will provide training to tribal communities to enhance their response to alcohol and drug abuse, enable them to recognize how trauma impacts drug and alcohol abuse in tribal communities, and identify current trends and best practices for tribal justice systems to strengthen multidisciplinary approaches to healing and justice.

The conference, supported by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, will feature five multidisciplinary tracks:  Alcohol and Substance Abuse; Courts and Traditional Justice; Probation, Reentry, and Policing; Strategic Planning; and Addressing Violent Crime in Native Communities.

Digital Evidence Task Force Executive Primer

November 22, 2019

The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) has released a publication entitled “Digital Evidence Task Force Executive Primer.” This provides law enforcement executives what they need to understand the complexities of digital evidence, consider what policy changes they may need to adopt, and how they can work with their communities and policymakers to succeed in an ever-changing environment. The document covers policy considerations, the problems associated with “going dark,” and education and outreach. 

FBI Report: Lone Offender Terrorism

November 22, 2019

A Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) study of lone offender terrorist attacks in the United States takes an unprecedented look at the backgrounds, behavioral characteristics, and circumstances surrounding 52 attacks since 1972, as well as the singular perpetrators and the bystanders who often see clues but rarely act on them.

The “Lone Offender Terrorism Report,” produced by the FBI’s National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime and Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU), analyzed domestic attacks between 1972 and 2015. Within BAU, researchers reviewed a trove of data and contextual investigative information in FBI case files and police records—as well as academic research and media accounts—to develop a richer picture of the varied circumstances surrounding dozens of lone offender attacks.

Webinar: Stepping Up Data-Driven Justice

November 22, 2019

Many communities are focusing on the small number of people who frequently cycle in and out of emergency rooms, shelters, crisis services, and the justice system—a population that disproportionately contributes to the high utilization of resources. In Part Two of a series on collecting and using data, Stepping Up and the Data-Driven Justice Project—supported by the National Association of Counties (NACo)—will host a no-cost webinar featuring counties that have implemented policies and practices that identify frequent utilizers of these systems and use this information to connect people with appropriate treatment and services.

Date: Thursday, December 5, 2019
Time: 2:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m., ET

A Primer for Police Leaders on Futures Thinking

November 15, 2019

In a profession that tends to be reactive and responsive, futures thinking encourages police leaders and organizations to identify the future they prefer and to work to bring that future into reality.

A collaboration among the National Police Foundation, the Society of Police Futurists International, and the Futures Working Group —supported by the Federal Bureau of Investigation —this document provides guidance to public safety leaders on the potential impact of societal changes and how to appropriately apply futures thinking to such scenarios.

Webinar: Forensics and Business Email Compromises

November 15, 2019

This no-cost webinar, brought to you by the National White Collar Crime Center, will cover the types of evidence that should be collected in response to a business email compromise/Office 365 email investigation, methods of email compromise (e.g., phishing, malware), types of data at risk, and commonly seen schemes.

Date:  November 13, 2019 
Time:  1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m., ET

Webinar: Rapid and Effective Identification of Organic and Inorganic Gunshot Residues

November 15, 2019

Forensic laboratories and law enforcement personnel provide valuable support in the reconstruction of events and assessment of the value of evidence in firearm-related investigations. The main goal of this webinar, sponsored by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), is to present a discussion of the current state of gunshot residue (GSR) detection and efforts being made to improve current capabilities.

This no-cost webinar presents the development and validation of novel methods to identify organic and inorganic gunshot residues. Electrochemical and laser-based spectroscopic techniques (LIBS) are presented as screening methods that are quicker, more selective, and more powerful than any current field-testing technique. At the end of this webinar, participants will:

  • Understand challenges faced in forensic analysis of gunshot residues.
  • Recognize the capabilities and limitations of electrochemistry, LIBS, and liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry for GSR detection.
  • Identify the value of using populations that simulate casework samples for the validation and assessment of performance measures of qualitative data.

Date:  November 20, 2019 
Time:  1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m., ET

Joint Statement: Security of 2020 Elections

November 15, 2019

Attorney General William Barr, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan, Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire, FBI Director Christopher Wray, U.S. Cyber Command Commander and National Security Agency Director General Paul Nakasone, and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Christopher Krebs released a joint statement regarding the security of the 2020 election. 

In the joint statement, representatives from across the federal government named election security as a top priority for the U.S. government. They also warned that adversaries will seek to interfere in the voting process or influence voter perceptions in the next election through a variety of means, including social media campaigns, disinformation operations, or disruptive or destructive cyberattacks on state and local infrastructure. To protect U.S. elections, the agencies have increased their level of support to state and local election officials. 

New Website: COAP Resource Center

November 15, 2019

The Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Program (COAP), funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, works to support effective responses to the opioid epidemic to reduce overdose deaths, promote public safety, and support access to treatment and recovery services in the criminal justice system. The recently updated COAP Resource Center provides many opportunities for local, state, tribal, and territorial stakeholders to address the opioid epidemic in their communities through policy efforts and practical solutions. 
Resources include the following:

Webinar: Surviving the Service: Cardiac, Cancer, Behavioral Threats, and The Role of Early Detection

November 8, 2019

Members of the uniformed services have unique occupational health risks. Tragically, each year countless men and women with law enforcement, fire and rescue services, and emergency management services lose their lives or suffer permanent disability from entirely preventable occupational health risks. Largely, this occupational risk includes fatal cardiovascular events. On November 14, 2019, the International Public Safety Association will host a no-cost webinar on health in the uniformed services.

Date:  November 14, 2019 
Time:  12:00 Noon – 1:15 p.m., ET

Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Reporting Portal

November 8, 2019

The Sexual Assault Kit Initiative, funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, has recently updated its toolkit to include the Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Reporting (SAFER) Portal. The SAFER Portal is a collection of best practices and protocols that provide guidance on using a multidisciplinary approach that ensures effective communication and offers policy considerations.

These updates were developed in response to the National Institute of Justice SAFER guidelines, which are found in National Best Practices for Sexual Assault Kits: A Multidisciplinary Approach.

Congressional Testimony: Global Terrorism -- Threats to the Homeland

November 8, 2019

Last week, Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray gave a statement before the House Homeland Security Committee. In his remarks, he discussed the current threats to the United States including homegrown violent extremism, cybercrime, and hostile foreign intelligence operations.

The Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice

November 8, 2019

President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order last week to establish the Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice (the Commission)—the first comprehensive commission on criminal justice in nearly 50 years.

The Commission will conduct a comprehensive review of the nation’s criminal justice system, develop a strategic plan to include recommendations for moving forward, and provide guidance to federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial governments. The Commission will study issues that are critical to ensuring that our communities are safe and that those who enforce and administer the law are properly supported.

Pilot Program: Use of Body-Worn Cameras

November 8, 2019

On Monday, October 28, 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a pilot program which, for the first time, will allow federally deputized task force officers to use body-worn cameras while serving arrest warrants or executing search warrants. The DOJ partners with state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement on hundreds of federal task forces throughout the nation. Together, these task forces work to combat violent crime, stem the flow of illegal narcotics, and arrest dangerous fugitives. Several of DOJ’s partner agencies require their officers to wear body-worn cameras and have requested that their officers wear these cameras on federal task forces when the use of force is possible.

Law Enforcement Best Practices —Lessons Learned From the Field

November 1, 2019

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services examines key areas for community policing. These areas include de-escalation; crisis intervention; first-line supervisors; early intervention systems; internal affairs; recruitment, hiring, promotion, and retention; and data systems.

The Law Enforcement Best Practices guide was developed in collaboration with experts and practitioners from across the country and provides best and promising practices grounded in academic research and practical experience, suitable for agencies of all sizes. In order to address the complex relationship among each of these issues, the guide provides actionable checklists to start a conversation about the actions law enforcement agencies can take to positively affect the quality of life and safety for every member of the community.

Learn How Police Agencies Can Get Survey Data at No Cost

November 1, 2019

The National Law Enforcement Applied Research and Data Platform is an effort facilitated by the National Police Foundation and funded by the National Institute of Justice. This new data-driven platform provides survey data to police agencies at no cost. The data may be used to drive policy decisions, as well as gauge the community’s perspectives on law enforcement.

The data is near-real-time, with survey content uploaded to the platform within 48 hours. Agencies that participate in the data platform are also given detailed written reports within ten days. To see what they provide, view a sample report. This report specifically focuses on the impact of technology on officer safety and wellness.

Webinar: Understanding the Darknet

November 1, 2019

As the Internet continues to evolve, new layers populate where offenders commit criminal offenses. One such area is known as the Darknet. Participants will learn how the Darknet works and how potential criminal activity is facilitated on the Darknet as a crucial part of investigating and prosecuting child exploitation cases. Additionally, participants will learn how to access other locations on the Darknet.  This no-cost webinar is hosted by the Midwest Regional Child Advocacy Center.

Date:  November 7, 2019 
Time:  2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m., ET

Webinar: The Opioid Crisis: One State's Approach to Supporting the Health and Wellness of Its First Responders

November 1, 2019

The Bureau of Justice Assistance leadership, in collaboration with the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Program team, invites you to participate in this no-cost webinar. It will feature representatives from the Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS). Topics will include how first responders are becoming trauma-informed, practical applications of putting trauma-informed strategies in place, and innovative state and local programs (including training programs and support initiatives). The role of leadership and integrated system responses will be highlighted, including OhioMHAS’s new first responder liaison, who serves as a resource to first responders, their agencies, behavioral health care providers, and the community at large. Additionally, the Ohio Aiding Safety Services with Incident Survival Techniques (ASSIST) program will be introduced. Ohio ASSIST provides post-critical incident seminars to first responders and their families.

Date:  November 6, 2019
Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m., ET

New Website: SLATT Program

November 1, 2019

The updated State and Local Anti-Terrorism Training (SLATT) Program website is now live and will house new and updated resources to help you in your efforts in countering terrorism. The SLATT Program, supported by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, has been undergoing curriculum and website revitalization efforts to reflect a more role-based approach to identifying what terrorism looks like, understanding how to report it to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and preparing to respond to an incident. As part of the revitalization effort, on-site training courses are being developed in order to provide content tailored to different roles: law enforcement, emergency managers, crime analysts, and intelligence analysts.

Please note, for security purposes, all previous user accounts were deactivated and are now obsolete. Information regarding the sign-up and vetting process for new SLATT user accounts will be available soon.