Public Safety

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High-profile incidents involving police officers and the deaths of civilians have led to the passage of a new law in Wisconsin and creation of a state task force in Ohio.

This act amends Tennessee’s fetal homicide law to allow the prosecution of a pregnant woman for the illegal use of a narcotic drug, if her child is born addicted or harmed by the drugs she took during her pregnancy. The charge of assault is a misdemeanor offense, but if the child is harmed, aggravated assault, with a 15-year maximum prison term, could be charged. That a woman is enrolled in long term drug addiction treatment before the child is born, remains in the program after delivery and successfully completes the program is an affirmative defense under the law. The law is set to expire on July 1, 2016.

This act provides allows a judge to use discretion when sentencing a veteran or servicemember, who has been diagnosed with a mental illness such as post-traumatic stress disorder and who is charged with a non-violent offence to undergo a counseling/treatment program rather than be sent to jail. However, if an individual does not complete the program they can then be sentenced to jail time.

With passage of this act, Montana became the first state to require state and local government entities to obtain a probable-cause warrant before remotely engaging personal electronic devices. Agencies may obtain location information in the case of emergencies or if an electronic device is stolen or if an individual gives authorized permission to access their location information.

This act relates to investigations of deaths involving a law enforcement officer. It requires the use of outside investigators in the event of a police-related death of a citizen, and requires reports of custody death investigations to be publicly released if criminal charges are not filed against the officers involved. In addition, officers must also inform victims’ families of their options to pursue additional reviews.

This act requires a provider of wireless telecommunications to provide call location information concerning the telecommunications device of a user to a law enforcement agency in certain circumstances; requires a provider of wireless telecommunications to submit its emergency contact information to the Department of Public Safety; requires the Department to maintain a database of such emergency contact information; authorizes the Department to adopt regulations; and provides other matters properly relating thereto.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security in December 2013 announced a phased enforcement plan for the REAL ID Act of 2005. The act enacted a recommendation of the 9/11 Commission that the federal government “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses.” States and other jurisdictions have made significant progress in enhancing the security of their licenses in recent years, but hurdles and holdouts remain and key deadlines in 2015 and 2016 loom. This CSG eCademy provide an update from DHS on states’ progress, with discussion and questions posed by a representative of the REAL ID advocacy organization the Coalition for a Secure Driver’s License.

On December 2, 2014, the White House released an update fact sheet on the nation's preparedness to detect, treat and prevention Ebola in the United States and abroad. 

The federal government has designated 35 Ebola treatment centers in 12 states and the District of Columbia. These hospitals are recognized for their biocontainment capability to treat Ebola and other infectious diseases. The goal is to reach 50 Ebola treatment...

Oregon voters will decide Nov. 4 whether to overturn a state law that grants driver’s cards to Oregonians who can’t prove legal residency. The legislature passed the bill in 2013, but opponents of the law gathered enough signatures to send the measure to the polls as a ballot initiative. The outcome—if enough people oppose the law—could stop it dead in its tracks. 

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WASHINGTON, D.C.—October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Unfortunately, we are reminded nearly every week of the growing threat of being constantly connected to the web, with the reporting of high profile companies and organizations being victims of a cyberattack.

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