Beware: There’s a Serial Rapist in Miami-Dade County Who’s Been Victimizing Females Since 2013

by Juan Diasgranados9/28/2015
Florida International University
Snap it, Tag it, Share it... Help solve the mystery of man who's been terrorizing women in Miami-Dade County since 2013.

The latest incident was last month in Miami Beach. According to reports, a woman woke to a strange man in her bed at approximately 5am. She told detectives that a man, who she did not recognize, began performing oral sex on her and referred to her by name.

Police are stepping up their patrols and are redoubling their efforts to alert the community.

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Police Announce Arrest of Foot-Sniffer at Florida International University (FIU) Library

by Juan Diasgranados9/18/2015
Florida International University

Imagine you're sitting at the library and someone sneaks underneath the table to… smell your feet!

That's exactly what happened to some Florida International University students in Miami, FL this past month.

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Revolutionary Public Safety App develops an un911 Solution for the Crowd to share their Safety and Security concerns, anonymously

by Anita Setnor Byer, Founder - sci-Shot6/12/2015
mobile safety app

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla – (June 9, 2015) – sci-Shot’s innovative non-emergency public safety and security mobile App wins User confidence, as reported in sci-Shot’s last market research efforts. Anita Byer, sci-Shot’s Founder explains, ‘Users are onboard with the business model, supporting our belief that people can benefit from a universal, go-to App for reporting all things un911.’ The App, which serves as a convenient way for people to anonymously report non-emergency public safety and security concerns, can benefit a broad range of organizations, including, event management enterprises, shopping centers, apartment complexes, homeowners associations, indoor malls, and stadiums – virtually any venue where the public gathers or lives. More...

Technology Solutions for Sexual Assault on College Campuses

by Haadia Amjad, Editor - sci-Shot6/9/2015
sexual assault on college campuses

Sexual assault at colleges, notwithstanding a minority of false claims, remains a pervasive problem today, and under-reporting by victims, a major hurdle in tackling it. According to a US Department of Justice report published in 2014, only 20% of sexual assaults are disclosed to campus authorities or law enforcement. Furthermore, disclosure of sexual assaults by colleges to federal authorities, as required by law, is under-reported, presenting a two-pronged challenge to improving safety on campus. More...

Do Body-Worn Cameras Improve Police Conduct?

by Anita Setnor Byer, Founder - sci-Shot6/1/2015
Police Body Cameras

People often act differently when they know they are being watched. In fact, research shows that people act differently if they just feel like they are being watch. It's true. A 2010 study found that the mere presence of posters featuring a pair of eyes made it more likely that people would discard their litter in a self-clearing cafeteria.

This phenomenon is often referred to as the Hawthorne or Observer Effect, and it is a primary justification for the use of Body-Worn Cameras (BWCs) by police. Though there is little direct research, a study conducted by the Rialto (California) Police Department suggests that BWCs can have a positive effect on police behavior. More...

Body Cameras-Mandatory for all Cops?

by Anita Setnor Byer, Founder - sci-Shot5/11/2015
Police Body Cameras

Today's technology lets us see police activity that may have otherwise gone unseen. Recent high-profile incidents, including fatal shootings by law enforcement in South Carolina and Oklahoma, have many clamoring to see more. This has prompted a push for the mandatory use of Body-Worn Cameras (BWCs) by law enforcement officers. The President even proposed funding to increase the use of BWCs nationwide.

Those advocating for the mandatory use of BWCs certainly have a compelling argument. Footage of the fatal Tulsa shooting should, at the very least, trigger an evaluation of current departmental deadly force guidelines and training policies. Though not captured by a BWC, murder charges were filed against the North Charleston (SC) police officer after footage of the fatal shooting surfaced. More...

Facebook Partners with National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

by Martin Salcedo, Esq. - sci-Shot1/28/2015

On Tuesday, January 13, 2015 it was announced that Facebook will start working with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) by posting Amber Alerts on users’ News Feeds who are identified as being in the targeted search area of the abducted child. 

In a phone interview with Larry Magid, a Tech journalist who serves on the NCMEC board of directors, NCMEC founder John Walsh emphasizes how Facebook will reach individuals in ways that TV, radio, and billboards cannot.  With partners like Facebook, pictures and detailed descriptions of the children will reach a broader range of people, especially teens and young adults who engage Facebook on a daily basis. This demographic is currently all but inactive in relation to Amber Alerts.

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New Year's Safety: 5 Tips to Follow

by Marcelo Galperin, Brand Communications Coordinator - sci-Shot12/31/2014
New Year's Fireworks

We really enjoyed launching our Public Safety and Security Mobile App this past year and we hope that 2014 brought you as much pleasure and excitement as it brought us! Whether or not you kept your previous New Year’s resolutions, keeping safe should be on this year’s list and kicking off the New Year in 2015 brings reason to celebrate.

To ensure these celebrations are fun and harmless, these five safety tips can help you ring in the New Year.

  1. DO NOT leave your drink unattended. If you must go to the restroom, take your drink with you or leave it with a trusted friend or family member. Never leave your drink at the table and return to it, as someone can easily spike it while it is unattended. More...

Revolutionary Public Safety App to Utilize Crowd sourcing at Winterfest Boat Parade

by Marcelo Galperin, Brand Communications Coordinator - sci-Shot12/11/2014
phone overlooking boats

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla – (December 11, 2014) – sci-Shot, a new public safety and security mobile app developed by a South Florida company, will celebrate its official launch at the Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade on December 13. The app, which serves as a convenient way for participants to anonymously report non-emergency, questionable or suspicious activity, will be monitored by Crime Stoppers.

“It’s a step below calling 911 and a step above doing nothing,” explained Anita Byer, sci-Shot’s founder. “We’re encouraging spectators to download sci-Shot, register as an anonymous user, and confidentially share pictures and video of non-emergency conditions that appear unsafe or threatening and cause concern.”

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Safety Tips for the Holiday Season

by Anita Setnor Byer, Founder - sci-Shot12/5/2014
gifts for the holidays

The Holiday Season is here, and with it, comes great expectations.  Expressions of good-will,  love and support for family and friends will dominate our thoughts and actions.  So, to make certain that we enjoy the Holidays as we expect to, without incident, let’s all remember some basics about staying safe.  

Shopping: Stores will be crowded and distractions abundant, So, remember the following before venturing out:

  • When shopping with a young child, consider submitting a picture or video of your child to any number of the Public Safety and Security Apps that provide a free resource to record your child’s look and dress prior to heading out. These Apps are used by subscribed law enforcement and mall security professionals to quickly access and distribute news about your child to a number of sources.  

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sci-Shot launches Public Safety App at the Jake Owen Foundation Benefit Concert

by Marcelo Galperin, Brand Communications Coordinator - sci-Shot11/12/2014
sci-Shot logo

VERO BEACH, FL – November 12, 2014 – sci-Shot, a Public Safety Mobile App company, was a Platinum Sponsor for the 8th Annual Jake Owen Foundation Benefit Concert on October 25, 2014 in Holman Stadium at Historic Dodgertown. Jake Owen’s annual charity concert benefits Autism Speaks, Boys & Girls Club of Indian River County, Hibiscus Children’s Center, Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, and St. Jude Children’s research Hospital.

‘Like Jake Owen, sci-Shot believes in supporting its community through charitable donations and hands-on work,’ said Anita Byer, sci-Shot’s Founder.   sci-Shot provided their Revolutionary Public Safety Mobile App as a courtesy to safeguard Jake’s event, inaugurating the use of the App at public venues.

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Halloween Safety Tips

by Marcelo Galperin, Brand Communications Coordinator - sci-Shot10/29/2014
Halloween pumpkin and skull

It’s that time of the year again! People are dressing up in all sorts of costumes and it becomes difficult to determine who is out for a fun, harmless time and who is out planning on taking tricks a little too far. With so many people roaming the streets, safety becomes a major concern. The following tips can help you and your children stay safe this Halloween:

1. Travel in Groups - There is safety in numbers. Avoid trick-or-treating alone and have a trusted adult accompany any children.

2. Inspect Candy - Carefully examine the candy to make sure that it has not been tampered with. Do not eat any candy that is unwrapped or looks like it has been unwrapped. Make sure to also remove any candy small enough to be a choking hazard for young children.

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Domestic Violence Awareness

by Marcelo Galperin, Brand Communications Coordinator - sci-Shot10/22/2014
woman with injure on forehead looking into mirror

October marks Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which has been recognized every October since its inception in 1981. Studies have shown that an astonishing 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime, and about 85% of domestic violence victims are women. Recent events have shed light on the seriousness of domestic violence, and how it may occur at any place, any time, and across all communities.

Ray Rice and the NFL:  A disturbing video of Ray Rice punching his fiancée, Janay Palmer, inside an elevator was released by TMZ.  The football player was suspended for two games before the release of video footage. Controversy ensued,  with the NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, stating that the two game, ‘light,’ suspension was issued prior to the release of the video, and a full knowledge of the extent of the attack.  Nonetheless, the NFL is now aware of the dangers of domestic violence within their ranks, and has introduced a tougher domestic violence policy and response.

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Safeguarding Public Venues

by Anita Setnor Byer, Founder - sci-Shot10/8/2014
large crowd at concert with smartphones

Large crowds gather at concerts with the expectations of enjoying a good show, but often times people let safety slip their minds at these venues. A growing number of songs are mentioning drinking-related content in their lyrics, and it is no secret that large amounts of alcohol are being consumed at these events. The combination of large crowds and alcohol often times does not mix as well as the rum and coke that is being ingested.  A couple of recent events highlight some of the major public safety concerns at concert:

Alleged rape of a 17-year-old girl: During the July 26 Keith Urban show in Massachusetts, more than 50 people were placed in protective custody and another 46 people were treated for alcohol-related illnesses. Among one of the many incidents at the concert, an 18-year-old male was charged with the rape of a 17-year-old girl that took place on the lawn section of the concert. Upon recounting the event, a witness stated that they saw the act take place, took pictures of the unusual event, and moved on because they thought the act was consensual.

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National Hazing Prevention Week

by Anita Setnor Byer, Founder - sci-Shot9/24/2014
teen getting hazed through texting

National Hazing Prevention Week runs from September 22-26 and is dedicated toward raising awareness of hazing, educating the public about the dangers of hazing, and promoting the prevention of hazing. Recent events confirm that hazing occurs in a variety of environments, from professional sports venues to college campuses.

Jonathan Martin and the Miami Dolphins: In professional sports, rookies are often accepted by the team after being exposed to certain rituals and treatments.  Many of these acts, while not condoned, are often harmless.  Harmless rituals, though, are not always the norm.  The scandal involving Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin raised major concerns about hazing and locker room culture. Martin quit the team after suffering mental distress after repeated instances of verbal abuse, both spoken and through text messages. Incognito and many of the Dolphins players argued that the acts were “tough love” and consistent across the locker room.

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Is More Surveillance Needed?

by Anita Setnor Byer, Founder - sci-Shot9/17/2014
holding phone in crowd

In the wake of one of the most controversial police shootings in modern times, a growing interest by the public has been placed on whether or not officers should be required to wear body-cameras at all times. In case you missed it, here is a brief recap of the events in Ferguson, MO:

Fatal Shooting: An unarmed, 18 year old black male was killed after being shot multiple times by Darren Wilson, a white male police officer.  Details of the incident were slow to be released, and in the absence of information, racial tensions and violence grew.

Questions have arisen. Did the officer feel threatened? Did the victim attack the officer? Was the shooting justified?  Details of the circumstance that led to the shooting have yet to be answered and tensions remain high.

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Are Your Children Safe?

by Anita Setnor Byer, Founder - sci-Shot8/13/2014
school bus and boy

The summer is coming to an end and it is that time of the year to send your children back to school. You expect school to be a loving place where children can make new friends, learn new things, and feel as safe as they do at home. While this is the case for most, there are some important safety tips that parents and children should review before the school year starts.

Just a few tips:

1. Do not write your child’s name on their backpack or clothing. This allows strangers to call your child by name, creating a more likely scenario for your child to approach them.

2. Have your child walk to the bus stop with a friend if possible. If your child must walk alone, stress the importance of not talking to strangers.

3. Make sure to come to a complete stop in your vehicle if a bus is stopped and kids are exiting. Vehicles on both sides of the street must stop!

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Information Sharing for Managing Crime

by Anita Setnor Byer, Founder - sci-Shot7/18/2014
laptop computer phone and pen

September 11th, 2001 taught American law enforcement just how critical information sharing and analysis is to preventing and responding to crime. As a result of this awareness, The U.S. Department of Justice developed the National Criminal Intelligence Sharing Plan (the Plan). The Plan provides a path to “improving the collection and analysis of information to create valuable and actionable intelligence products.’ (National Criminal Intelligence Sharing Plan, Version 2.0, Oct 2013).

For over 10 years, the Plan has provided law enforcement with assistance on internal business processes to improve access to intelligence data.  From this effort, significant strides have been made in the collection, analysis and sharing of criminal intelligence (intelligence-led policing) across all law enforcement communities.

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Earning Public Trust

by Anita Setnor Byer, Founder - sci-Shot7/10/2014
anonymous handshake

In the United States today, trust in government at the state and local levels is at an all-time low. In fact, a recent study by the Pew Research center reveals that a staggering 80 percent of citizens “never trust” the government.

Unfortunately, this public distrust seems to be trickling down from the government and spreading to other agencies – especially police departments.

Though there is not a clear explanation for why the public feels this way, certain events provide clarity. Six police officers in Wilmington, Delaware, were questioning a suspect in a local neighborhood when shots fired on the group, wounding a state trooper. Despite multiple witnesses, not a single person came forward – and the gunman still walks the streets.

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Increasing Public Safety, One Download at a Time

by Gabrielle Beecher, Marketing Assistant - sci-Shot7/2/2014
woman with cellphone

Too many people look the other way when it comes to reporting suspicious activity – the undisputed Elephant in the Room. This phenomenon of watching and avoiding, coined the ‘bystander effect’ by psychologists, has led to a staggering number of unreported crimes. But what if these observations were shared, rather than disregarded?

In our tech-savvy society, this question isn’t too far-fetched. If you have a Smartphone, you have access to one of the most powerful reporting tools in the world – and now, with the help of Mobile Apps, it’s not just limited to dialing 911.

Numerous software developers across the United States have not only recognized the benefits of using modern technology to report crimes, but have provided the public with convenient ways to do so. sci-Shot, the newest of these Community Watch Mobile Apps, strives to revolutionize public safety efforts by creating a network of connected citizens who choose to report suspicious activity rather than ignore it.

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