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By Brent Dirks

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How Did a Seattle Man Steal a Ferry?


People steal cars. They steal motorcycles. They even occasionally steal boats. But one Seattle man (with a previous criminal record, I might add) has taken theft to the next level. He stole a ferry.

The culprit, Samuel K. McDonough, slipped in through a broken part of a wire fence in Seattle, boarded the ferry, and somehow managed to turn it on, according to The Washington Post. After refusing to cooperate with police, a SWAT team eventually boarded the ship and arrested the man. The arrest occurred seven hours after the ship took off.

The whole fiasco did not cause any serious harm. McDonough could not figure out how to navigate the ship, so it moved in circles nearly the whole time. The potential for harm, however, was quite large. The ferry—which contained 1,300 gallons of diesel—could have crashed into another boat at the Seattle waterfront, causing damage or a spill. In addition, the ship is valued at around $8 million, according to the Huffington Post.

What do you think about the evident lack of security surrounding the ferry? Why was it this easy for a man to steal the ferry? Should better security measures be put in place? Let us know your thoughts. 

Posted on Dec 04, 20130 comments

Storm Chaser Cameras

Tornado Chasers Depend on IQinVision MegaPixel Cameras

When storm chasers in California go in search of tornados, thunderstorms, and other severe weather, they use the technology provided by IQeye megapixel cameras in order to catch all the footage. Using these cameras, an on-board server, and a video management system, storm chasing teams can capture clear, high-quality footage from multiple angles during any storm.

The BAM Chase Team in California has begun using these cameras during each of their storm chases. Their team is well-equipped with a camera mounted to the roof of their GMC Yukon, which allows them to record 360-degree footage from the vehicle. Other cameras are placed on the dashboard and various other locations throughout the SUV. With the mobility and functionality of these cameras, storm chasers have the ability to catch every second of every storm they happen upon.

How many cameras are needed in order for storm chasing teams to capture great footage? Is one or two enough or it is necessary to have close to a dozen? Catching several angles of the same storm can make a huge difference. A tornado may not look too severe from directly in front of it, but it may look completely different from the side. Does having several cameras make the difference in determining the full size and scale of a storm?

Posted on Oct 17, 20120 comments

Massachusetts Library Uses Local Police Officers to Collect Overdue Books

While difficult financial times are forcing cities all over the nation to layoff law enforcement officers, police in a small Massachusetts town apparently have nothing else better to do than attempt to collect overdue books for the local library.

Library officials and police officers from small Charlton, Mass. came under fire this week after an officer knocked on the door of Shannon Benoit to discuss overdue library books. Benoit said the action was overboard and upset her 5-year-old daughter.

Laughably, even the officer who stopped by the Benoit’s house was less than pleased.

“Nobody wanted to, on this end to get involved in it,” said Charlton Police Sergeant Dan Dowd. “But the library contacted us, and the chief delegated, and apparently I was one of the low men on the totem pole.”

After the outcry, library officials defended the action saying along with $30 in books due in October 2010, there was an outstanding and more expensive $100 audiobook loaned out to the family in 2009 that had never been returned.

Along with the Benoit’s, another 12 addresses in the town were set to receive visits. The amount of overdue materials from the 13? A measly $2,634.

The visit did work, and the library has all the overdue materials from the Benoit’s. But is sending out law enforcement really the best way to go about the situation?

Posted on Jan 04, 20120 comments

Featured Contributors

Laura Williams
Laura Williams

Laura Williams is a content developer for Environmental Protection, Security Products, and Occupational Health & Safety brands at 1105 Media. Previously, she was a freelance copy editor for Congressional Quarterly and an intern for The Washington Examiner and The Baltimore Sun.
Darren Nix
Darren A. Nix
Darren A. Nix, CPP, is an experienced security professional and systems designer with specialized expertise in security systems design, threat and vulnerability assessment, risk identification and risk mitigation.
Charlie Howell
Charlie Howell
Charlie Howell is the owner and consultant for Security Concepts and Planning LLC. His expertise lies in performing assessments and intrusion testing to exploit security vulnerabilities and designing solutions to fix them.
Frank P. DeFina
Frank P DeFina
Frank P. DeFina is the senior vice president of sales and marketing for Samsung Techwin America. Previously, DeFina spent 26 years at Panasonic, rising through the ranks to become president at Panasonic System Solutions Company in 1999. He currently holds positions on the executive board of the Security Industry Association and the International Biometrics Industry Association.

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