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Justice and Public Safety

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Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office said the California Highway Patrol will stand up 480 surveillance cameras on Oakland streets and East Bay freeways to help identify vehicles associated with crimes. Privacy advocates have criticized the plan.
The technology, which uses acoustic sensors on light poles to alert police about suspected gunfire, received a final extension in February from the mayor that would end this fall. But aldermen want to give the City Council the final say.
The Orange County city is “a little bit behind the curve” in crime-fighting tech, its police chief told the City Council recently. It intends to make a dent in crime by adding license plate readers and video cameras to its streetscape.
The City Council will consider a two-year lease of 10 automatic license plate-reading cameras, technology already in use in nearby Santa Cruz and Watsonville. In the latter city, its cameras helped catch a suspect in a Capitola fatal hit-and-run.
After years of unlicensed operations in North Carolina, a tech firm used by police to capture license plate data now risks being banned from business in the state if it misses a key application deadline.
For the Mason City Police Department and the Cerro Gordo County Sheriff's Office, the implementation of new and not-so-new tech has led to a more efficient workflow and enhanced public safety.
The city will explore using GPS technology from LYT to give green lights to emergency vehicles. The initiative, at a dozen intersections, will preserve its existing, optical-based system and compare their performance.
The new product could help police find evidence and access records more quickly, the company says. Veritone recently launched another AI-backed tool for digital evidence management as more agencies embrace artificial intelligence.
There are currently 217 license plate cameras watching Fort Worth streets, and 20 more are set to be deployed soon, said Sgt. Jason Spencer, a public information officer with the police department.
A band of hackers sent a yearslong barrage of malicious emails to U.S. politicians, government officials and private companies as part of a Chinese espionage and intelligence operation, prosecutors said.
The City Council has given its first approval to appropriating public safety tax funds to build the facility, estimated to cost $2.3 million plus roughly $700,000 in annual operating costs. A second reading of the appropriation is set for April 2.
A District Court judge postponed ruling on whether to bar end-to-end encryption for minors using Meta’s Messenger app, deciding that she first must determine if her court has jurisdiction.
The move follows the news that RapidSOS had closed a big funding round that involved BlackRock. Hexagon will help improve real-time data capabilities via which dispatchers and firefighters can more quickly respond to emergencies.
New Albany Police Chief Todd Bailey said his agency’s body camera deployment has “made our community better.” Police officers at the city department have been using body cams since the summer of 2023.
The Bowman Police Department is cautioning residents to be alert to phone calls seeking money, which may be using voice cloning. Police Chief Charles Headley highlighted the potential use of artificial intelligence in these calls.