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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 165219 Find in a Library
Title: Advanced Technologies Bolster Law Enforcement's Counterdrug Efforts
Journal: Police Chief  Volume:63  Issue:1  Dated:(January 1997)  Pages:32-34
Author(s): A E Brandenstein
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 3
Type: Training (Aid/Material)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Scientific breakthroughs in the areas of mobile communications, illicit drug detection, and surveillance are arming law enforcement agencies with increasingly sophisticated tools in their fight against illegal drug trafficking.
Abstract: Supported by the Counterdrug Technology Assessment Center (CTAC) within the Office of National Drug Control Policy, a broad range of technological advances is providing law enforcement with such capabilities as reliable, high-speed electronic data transfer between differing information systems, instantaneous field detection of trace amounts of narcotics residue, and pager systems that can transmit mug shots and suspect images to officers in the field. This article describes each of these technological tools. In the past, law enforcement and corrections agencies that used different hardware and software have had difficulty transferring large files and complex digital data between their systems. This has impeded the prompt transfer of data on drug-trafficking organizations that cross jurisdictional lines. In response to this problem, the CTAC has applied "asynchronous transfer mode," an advanced, high-speed switching technology through which information from multiple data types may be communicated by using the same methodology. Also, in collaboration with private industry and Federal agencies, CTAC is supporting development and testing of a wide scope of narcotics detection systems. A highlight of these efforts is the inexpensive, palm-size, evidence collection and surface drug test kit, AccuPRESS, which allows officers in the field to conduct positive identification of trace amounts of cocaine or opiates in minutes. With CTAC's support, an advanced wireless technology, Data Through Paging (DTP), was developed in 1994 by the Data Critical Corporation to enable encrypted information as well as images to be sent over standard digital paging networks. Using handheld computers tied to a pager system, officers in multiple locations can receive images as well as encrypted updates; these cannot be intercepted or monitored by suspects, the media, or anyone using a scanner.
Main Term(s): Science and Technology
Index Term(s): Communication techniques; Data communications; Drug detection; Drug law enforcement; Field drug analysis; Mug shots; Suspect identification
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