NIJ Journal Issue: 249 Dated: July 2003 Pages: 1-34
Four feature articles address advances in law enforcement procedures relevant to crime-solving, surveillance, and police safety, and a review of recent research addresses alcohol-abuse studies, geographic analysis in probation and parole, and the evolution of community policing.
One feature article details four recently developed methods for obtaining information from microscopic particles at a crime scene. These include matching small fragments of glass, analyzing a minute layer of chemical residue without destroying the entire sample, and the illumination of body fluids and fingerprints in daylight. Another feature article explains the basics of DNA sample collection for police officers and investigators and notes procedures that can enhance the usefulness of such evidence. A third feature article presents an overview of the use of closed circuit cameras to monitor public areas. Privacy issues are discussed. The fourth feature article reviews the achievements and indicates the current challenges regarding the National Institute of Justice's bullet-resistant body armor standard. Four NIJ-sponsored research projects are described in another section of the journal. One research project examined the effect on crime rates, notably violent crime, of alcohol control policies such as excise taxes and higher legal drinking ages. No discernible impacts were found. A second research project analyzed binge drinking in the Native American Northern Plains tribes. The research found that alcohol-related behavior and crime were highly influenced by family background, and arrestees generally did not believe they had any alcohol or drug problems. A third research project showed how the use of geographic analysis can improve efficiency in probation and parole caseload management by reducing officers' travel times. A fourth research report outlines the findings from the most recent survey of law enforcement agencies regarding community policing. It found a continuing effort to implement community policing and a belief that community policing must be adopted agencywide to be effective.
Report (Technical Assistance)
Date Published: July 1, 2003