DOJ Press Release letterhead

Thursday, September 20, 2007
Office of Justice Programs
Contact: Sheila Jerusalem
Phone: (202) 307-0703
TTY: (202) 514-1888


Over $15 Million Provided to Establish Four Centers of Technology Expertise

       WASHINGTON - The Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs (OJP) today announced the creation of four Technology Centers of Excellence, which will serve as a specialized criminal justice technology resource for law enforcement and criminal justice practitioners. Each Center will provide expertise in a specific technology area and help introduce law enforcement technologies into practice within the criminal justice community.

       "The creation of these Technology Centers will provide state and local agencies with unprecedented support to which few agencies would otherwise have access," said Regina B. Schofield, Assistant Attorney General for OJP. "Increasing safety, efficiency, and cost effectiveness within the criminal justice community is our goal in creating better access to better information and research."

       The new Technology Centers of Excellence are the Applied Research Laboratory at Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pa.; International Biometric Group, LLC, New York, N.Y.; Drakontas LLC, Camden, N.J.; and the National Forensic Science Technology Center, Largo, Fla. Each of the Centers will focus on one of the following areas; communications technologies; forensic technologies; sensors, surveillance, and biometric technologies; weapons and protective systems technologies.

       Pennsylvania State University's Applied Research Laboratory is receiving $3.2 million to establish the Weapons and Protective Systems Technology Center to support OJP's efforts to enhance the safety of law enforcement and corrections officers including efforts related to introducing into practice safer, more effective less lethal devices and equipment to protect them against chemical and biological weapons and improvised explosive devices. The Center will also provide technical and administrative support to the National Bomb Squad Commander's Advisory Board as well as establish a bomb technology test and evaluation program.

       The National Forensic Science Technology Center is receiving $6 million to form the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence that will support numerous OJP research and development initiatives specifically related to forensic science and technology. It will also serve as the National Clearinghouse for Science, Technology, and the Law's online resource and support forensics technology working groups' activities.

       Drakontas of Camden, N. J. is receiving over $3.6 million to establish the Communications Technologies Center of Excellence that will generally provide a means for testing, evaluating and demonstrating communications tools and technologies. Drakontas will establish and manage a law enforcement wireless pilot project, support a Communications Technology Working Group, and provide specialized communications technology assistance to law enforcement, when needed.

       The International Biometric Group of New York is receiving $2.9 million to establish the Sensors, Surveillance, and Biometric Technologies Center that will support OJP's law enforcement and corrections biometrics and surveillance technology projects, including concealed weapons detection and through-the-wall surveillance programs. These efforts will ultimately lead to the adoption of new technologies for use by state and local criminal justice agencies.

       The Technology Centers of Excellence will operate within the existing National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center System (NLECTCS), a component of OJP's National Institute of Justice (NIJ) which serves as a nationwide network of technology research facilities. The NLECTC system is the link that connects law enforcement and corrections to the science and technology community. The inclusion of the four specialized Centers will further the mission of OJP by better aligning the NLECTC system with the research, development, testing and evaluation activities of NIJ.

       The Office of Justice Programs, headed by Assistant Attorney General Regina B. Schofield, provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP has five component bureaus: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; and the Office for Victims of Crime. Additionally, OJP has two program offices: the Community Capacity Development Office, which incorporates the Weed and Seed strategy, and the Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking Office (SMART). More information can be found at