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TECHBeat, January 2016

NCJ Number
Techbeat Dated: January 2016 Pages: 1-17
Date Published
January 2016
17 pages

Feature articles in this issue describe software designed to aid crime investigations and offender supervision that involves a search for computer-based evidence; a police department's use of unmanned aircraft; and a sheriff's office's use of imaging technology in locating, collecting, and processing latent fingerprints.


"Field Search: Field-Based Computer Forensics Software Widens Its Scope" describes the features and uses of an updated free software called "Field Search." The most recent version (5.0) of this software was released in early January 2016. One of the most significant upgrades expands the keyword search function to include the capability of searching for a word or phrase in any language. "Want to Start a UAS Program? The Arlington Police Department Has Lessons Learned to Share" discusses the benefits and challenges experienced by the Arlington (Texas) Police Department (APD) in its unmanned aircraft system (UAS). Even under the restrictions imposed on the UAS by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the miniature, unmanned helicopters are useful for accident and crime-scene reconstruction, the tracking of missing persons, and for exterior observation in active-shooter barricades. All flights are controlled by officers who are licensed pilots, since flights are in controlled airspace. Each helicopter is approximately 5-feet long and can fly for approximately 15 minutes on battery power. "Technology Enhances Capture of Latent Fingerprints and Other Forensic Evidence" describes the Pinellas County (Florida) Sheriff's Office's use of the lab station and mobile versions of the full spectrum imaging system. Purchased in 2015 through a grant from the National Institute of Justice, this system enables forensics investigators to find latent fingerprints on surfaces and documents that have not been treated with conventional powder or chemicals, thus preserving the integrity of the evidence.

Date Published: January 1, 2016