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TECHBeat, March 2017

NCJ Number
Techbeat Dated: March 2017 Pages: 1-15
Date Published
March 2017
15 pages

Feature articles in this issue profile an online police training program on officer safety and wellness, an app that facilitates interactions between police and autistic individuals, and an alert system that keeps motorists directly informed of road trouble.


"VALOR Program Launches eLearning Portal" describes an online training initiative designed to guide police officers in ways to better protect their safety, health, and well-being. It provides up-to-date education in officer tactics, skills, and alertness. The program can be accessed at https://www.valorforblue.org/eLearning/. "App Aims to Facilitate Interactions Between Police and Autistic Individuals" describes the features of a Minnesota police department's app that eases police contacts with people who have autism or other emotional disabilities, so as to avoid misunderstanding of behaviors in the interaction. The app, entitled "Vulnerable Individuals Technology Assisted Location Services" (VITALS) was developed as a partnership between the St. Paul Police Department, the Autism Society of Minnesota (AUSM), and AWARE Services, LLC. VITALS uses a mobile app and a small beacon that allows individuals to voluntarily disclose their disability to emergency responders who come within a 30-50 foot radius. The individual carries the beacon that can be detected by the app on the responder's mobile phone. When the beacon is detected, the responder can see a photo of the individual and information such as name, age, height, diagnosis, and behavioral triggers (e.g., bright, flashing lights and being pushed or touched), as well as suggested de-escalation techniques for that individual and caregiver contact information. "Alert System Keeps Motorists Directly Informed of Road Trouble" is a system in Pennsylvania (511PAConnect website) that enables motorists to sign up for direct update alerts on road trouble on State highways. This issue of TECHBeat also includes the regular Technology News Summary.

Date Published: March 1, 2017