Pulse


Pulse

By GCN Staff


Coalition supports e-citation tech for safety, service and savings

Coalition supports e-citation tech for safety, service and savings

Being struck by a vehicle during a traffic stop is a leading cause of death for police officers, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. A new industry group is calling for increased use of electronic citation systems in an effort to reduce time officers spend writing tickets, improving their safety and removing the inefficiency of paper tickets.

Electronic citation systems help law enforcement agencies meet their ever-growing data collection and reporting requirements without compromising officer safety or effectiveness, according to the eCitation Coalition, a 12-member industry group promoting an alternative to traditional paper-based citations.

Use of the technology is expanding fast.

Public safety officers can now use handheld devices, mobile computers and printers to complete traffic stops faster and more safely and efficiently while focusing more of their attention on the offender.

Computer-assisted operations, such as e-ticketing with handheld devices, also provide more accurate information than manual methods – producing complete, enforceable citations that improve conviction rates, reduce court administration time and increase collections.

The citation software can also simplify data entry and help prevent errors while data traffic can be sent over a dedicated public safety network or through commercial cellular services. And e-citation systems can also take advantage of automated card reading, imaging and payment processing, improving functionality and efficiency.

Among the advantages of e-citation cited by the coalition are:

  • Reducing time an officer is on the roadside, which increases safety for officers and citizens.
  • Capturing revenue often lost to errors common in paper-based citation systems.
  • Adding operational efficiencies to the judicial system.
  • Reducing the amount of time needed to issue citations, enabling law enforcement officers to spend more time on patrol and less time on paperwork.

"e-citation solves multiple issues that plague most paper-based systems," said Keith Brin, Lake County, Illinois Circuit Court Clerk.  "In addition to increasing officer safety, e-citation aids courts by reducing processing costs and data entry errors and allows us to redeploy staff into higher value functions."

The coalition is working to educate key law enforcement groups on the benefits of the technology and is supporting state-level legislation that would help defray the initial acquisition and ongoing maintenance of e-citation systems.  

Posted on Oct 30, 2014 at 11:45 AM0 comments


DARPA in search of universal translator tech

DARPA in search of universal translator tech

In their military, diplomatic and heath care roles, U.S. government representatives frequently encounter low-resource languages, which often are less-studied, less-privileged or spoken by small numbers of people such as Inuit or Sindhi.

For many such languages, no available automated language technology exists. Translation resources are expensive and tend to be focused on the most popular languages. But for more than 7,000 languages in the world, military, diplomats and health workers need a way to quickly and inexpensively communicate.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency hopes to address that challenge with its Low Resource Languages for Emergent Incidents (LORELEI) program, which aims to advance computational linguistics and language technology for low-resource languages.

According to a notice in FedBizOpps, DARPA wants to develop language technology that leverages universal language principles instead of relying on huge, manually-translated, transcribed or annotated texts. It also aims to deliver situational awareness for the low-resource foreign language sources as soon as 24 hours after a new language requirement emerges.

While LORELEI technologies may include partial or fully automated speech recognition and/or machine translation, the overall goal is not to be translating foreign languages into English. Instead, the systems  would provide  situational awareness by identifying elements of information in foreign language and English sources, such as topics, names, events, sentiment and relationships.

DARPA is holding a proposer’s day on Nov. 13 to provide information to potential responders to the anticipated LORELEI broad agency announcement.

Posted on Oct 29, 2014 at 10:11 AM0 comments


USPS seeking complaint management system

USPS envisions a CMS for complaints

The U.S. Postal Service has put out feelers for a web-based system to manage all of the documents and records that come in over the agency hotline, including those related to criminal allegations and investigations.

The agency is aiming high. In a recent request for information, USPS listed features it was seeking for the complaint management system.  Files need to be securely stored and access strictly controlled based on user profiles.

USPS also wants the system to be “highly intuitive and configurable by the user,” allowing for easy navigation from case to case or record to record, as well as throughout various sections within each digital case file. The system should also create configurable, unique identifying numbers to each allegation, investigation and hotline complaint.

The needs and requirements for managers and supervisors also need to be addressed so that they can manage and report on the work done by agents in the field. Besides offering an “extensive, user configurable system of approvals, workflows and tracking processes for the various elements within an investigation,” the system should be able to assign investigative responsibility by program area for field investigators and be capable of alerting individuals, via e-mails or personalized dashboards, that an event requires their attention.

For analytics, USPS expects the system to provide dynamic, real-time dashboards and reports depicting the status of various approvals, results, data points and pending items for current investigations and for trend analysis. It would also take advantage of API technology to interface with other analytics products throughout the enterprise network.

Responses are due Nov. 7, 2014.

Posted on Oct 28, 2014 at 1:07 PM0 comments


Pennsylvania app accesses campaign finances

Pennsylvania app accesses campaign finance data

Pennsylvania is now making campaign finance information filed by candidates for state office and political action committees available to the public on a mobile app.

Earlier this year, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett directed the Commonwealth’s Department of State to revamp the campaign finance search engine on its website, making it much easier for the public to access information.

The campaign finance mobile app provides an overview of a committee's activity in a reporting period, including the total amount of money received, money spent and the remaining balance or cash on hand. 

The app does yet not provide information on individual contributors to a committee, or individual expenditures made by a committee.  However, the  information is available at Department of State website, www.dos.state.pa.us.

"People are increasingly getting information on mobile devices, and this app will now allow Pennsylvanians to find out on their mobile devices how much money political campaigns are raising and spending," said Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele.

"I believe government needs to be as open and transparent as possible, and provide government data in the same way citizens are getting other important information,"  she added.

The Pennsylvania campaign finance mobile app is available in the Apple iTunes Store and Google Play Store by searching for Pennsylvania CFS or Campaign Finance.

Plans to offer the campaign app follow earlier steps by the Corbett administration to make it easier for businesses to file corporate filings online.

The commonwealth’s “e-forms” service makes 90 forms for corporate filings available to be completed and filed online.  The forms represent more than 90 percent of the corporate filings handled by the state annually. 

More than 200 online application forms for professional licensees are expected to be completed by the end of the year, according to the secretary’s office. "This is part of Governor Corbett's plan to attract jobs by making it easier and less expensive to do business in Pennsylvania,” said Aichele.

Posted on Oct 23, 2014 at 9:13 AM0 comments


Space Station to offer same-day delivery of experiments to home labs

Space Station to offer same-day delivery of experiments to home labs

Managers of the International Space Station (ISS) are developing what amounts to an express delivery service to rapidly ferry small packages of critical research back to Earth in order to maintain scientific momentum on the projects.

The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), which manages the ISS research lab, has picked Houston-based Intuitive Machines to work with NASA to design a terrestrial return vehicle (TRV), the capsule that will deliver the scientific perishables safely back to Earth.

Today, retrieval and return of experiment results from the ISS are conducted only a couple of times per year and require a long planning process. In contrast, Intuitive Machines said the TRV will enable frequent and same-day delivery of samples from ISS to the researcher's laboratory.

“The timely delivery of critical or perishable samples is essential in enabling new and exciting research aboard the ISS National Laboratory,” the partners said in announcing the service. The first flight of the TRV from the ISS is planned for 2016.

Intuitive Machines will open the TRV service to scientific, academic, commercial as well as government researchers.

"The International Space Station, with its unique microgravity laboratories and crew, enables research over a wide range of disciplines from physics through biology,” said David Wolf, a research scientist and former astronaut.

“This small payload return capability will provide controlled conditions and flexible choices for timely sample analysis,” Wolf added. “The scientific team will be able to much more efficiently adjust experimental parameters in response to results, exploit unique results, and correct problems encountered.

Intuitive Machines will be responsible for the design and certification of the return vehicle, as well as managing the payload return services for its customers. CASIS will manage the integration of the service onto a commercial launch vehicle to access the ISS, as well as flight operations services.

The TRV contains subsystems for protecting the payload during the return trip and delivering it accurately to a landing location such as a dry lakebed, where it can be easily retrieved. Once recovered, the payload would be removed from the TRV and delivered to the customer.

The vehicle is equipped with propulsion and flight control systems, which perform maneuvers for the entry and descent through the Earth’s atmosphere. 

Posted on Oct 22, 2014 at 10:42 AM0 comments