Combating Methamphetamine Abuse, a new fact sheet from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), describes resources available to communities to address meth abuse, including prevention and education programs. It also discusses support for enforcement efforts, such as investigative strategies and state and local drug task forces.
Some key points of the fact sheet reveal that the number of methamphetamine laboratory seizures in the United States decreased each year from 2004 through 2007; however, preliminary 2008 data and reporting indicate that domestic methamphetamine production is increasing in some areas of the country. Methamphetamine addiction is treatable, and problem-solving initiatives, such as drug courts and innovative reentry programs, can help communities stop the cycle of abuse. Resources and information must be made available to protect the most vulnerable victims of meth abuse—children. A new resource makes information available to communities, parents, and teens through a partnership between first responders and prevention professionals. The most effective strategies to fight methamphetamine abuse are comprehensive and collaborative ones—those that include prevention, education, treatment, and enforcement. BJA offers strategies and programs to assist states and local and tribal communities in developing comprehensive approaches to combat meth abuse. Access the National Criminal Justice Reference Service’s website at http://www.ncjrs.gov for a copy of the fact sheet (FS 000318).
Electronic Crime Scenes
The National Institute of Justice has produced Electronic Crime Scene Investigation: An At-the-Scene Reference for First Responders. The publication is a quick reference for first responders who may be responsible for identifying, preserving, collecting, and securing evidence at an electronic crime scene. It describes different types of electronic devices and the potential evidence they may hold and provides an overview of how to secure, evaluate, and document the scene. It includes an overview of how to collect, package, and transport digital evidence and lists potential sources of digital evidence for 14 crime categories. The complete document (NCJ 227050) is available at the National Criminal Justice Reference Service’s website, http://www.ncjrs.gov.
The Body Armor National Survey: Protecting the Nation’s Law Enforcement Officers, Phase Two Final Report was produced by the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) and the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). The purpose of this study was to add to the understanding of body armor policies and practices among law enforcement agencies across the nation. This BJA survey was the second phase of a large-scale project regarding body armor and officer safety. Phase One focused on the use of Zylon-based body armor by the 100 largest law enforcement agencies in the United States. This second study, Phase Two, collected additional data on the use of body armor from a large, nationally representative sample of law enforcement agencies. Data were collected on policies regarding the wearing of body armor, whether officers were provided with armor or had to purchase it themselves, the types of body armor used, fitting and maintenance of armor, and data on outcomes of use and officer safety.
Highlights of the findings included—
- almost all law enforcement agencies (99.4 percent) nationwide reported that their officers wear body armor when on duty;
- while not a requirement of many law enforcement agencies (41 percent do not require their officers to wear body armor), almost all agencies do provide fiscal support/resources to ensure their officers wear body armor; and
- there was an overall move by agencies toward promoting the wearing of body armor and providing the necessary resources to do so.
These findings of agencies’ policies indicate that officers were more likely to be wearing body armor while assaulted in the line of duty and the number of officer deaths was lower than it otherwise would be. On the other hand, while most agencies did encourage the wearing of body armor, most did not have stringent fit and maintenance policies and did not conduct inspections of armor to ensure proper fit and maintenance. The complete study (NCJ 229250) can be found at the National Criminal Justice Reference Service’s website, http://www.ncjrs.gov.