Public Safety

Local election officials brace for possible violence and threats

With worries over armed poll “monitors,” voter intimidation and risks to staff, some are coordinating with law enforcement or conducting special training ahead of Election Day.

After Uvalde, states look to new digital maps to keep schools safe

States such as Virginia are stepping up efforts to provide emergency responders with up-to-date digital maps of their school buildings for improved crisis prevention.

Digital floor plans of schools can speed emergency response

Providing first responders with a digitized map of school buildings may result in quicker response times and less confusion during crises.

States take new steps to stop election mistruths from going viral

To combat the rising misinformation threat, some states are bringing on cybersecurity specialists to comb social media and flag posts that spread falsehoods about the voting process.

How one fire department’s ‘crawl, walk, run’ mantra guides its drone use

Phoenix is slowly growing its drone program, which currently supports incident commanders managing fire-fighting resources.

State integrates 911 communications, data to improve emergency response

California is combining the data and notification capabilities of Rave Mobile Safety and RapidDeploy, allowing agencies to publish real-time incident data from their computer-aided dispatch systems to responders.

Experts: Today’s public health crises are just the beginning

With new and re-emerging diseases on the rise, enhanced innovation and technology to detect, track and monitor public health is essential, two experts say.

Audit reveals why city’s efforts to curb homelessness fall short

Oakland, California, doesn’t have the data to tell if it’s making any progress on reducing homelessness, a new audit shows.

San Francisco police to tap private surveillance cameras

A new rule allows the police to request access to footage from non-city-owned cameras for investigations and to monitor events with public safety concerns.

One city's proposed e-scooter ultimatum: No sidewalks or no scooting

The new plan under consideration in San Francisco would require all of the transportation devices to have anti-sidewalk technology or to stop operation.

Crash data analysis gets $1M infusion

Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles will use the funding to improve reporting on commercial motor vehicle accidents.

How Little Rock is harnessing data to become a smarter city

“My team and I, we’re focused on getting things done, but with a data-driven approach,” says the mayor of Arkansas’ capital.

When remains are found in a suitcase, forensics can learn a lot from the insects trapped within

Forensic scientists are studying decomposing piglets to learn more about how the insects that come to pick at and lay eggs in cadavers can reveal details surrounding the person's death such as the time or season.

Wildfire maps underscore risks — and costs — of climate change

The Oregon Department of Forestry uses a map to show which homes are on high-risk lands for wildfires, but residents question the map's accuracy and the rising insurance costs it seems to bring.

In war on disinformation, a dubious crusader joins the fight — the government

New Jersey opened an online portal to dispel disinformation on issues such as monkeypox, but the public's political and economic concerns may cause such programs to backfire.

Baltimore police to upgrade cell phone tracking tech

The city approved a $920,000 purchase of a cell site simulator, known as a “stingray,” that police said helps further investigations.

Possible cyber regs face fragmented, underfunded water sector

The Environmental Protection Agency could give states regulatory authority, but some experts worry rules will become “obsolete” as technology advances.

Mobile app aims to reduce work zone-related crashes

Florida is testing the Lane Closure Notification System, which allows highway workers to send notices of traffic changes to navigation services like Waze.