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FBI April 08 Bulletin

FBI April 08 Bulletin



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Published by Teleprison.com

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Published by: Teleprison.com on Mar 08, 2009
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April 2008Volume 77Number 4
United StatesDepartment of JusticeFederal Bureau of InvestigationWashington, DC 20535-0001Robert S. Mueller IIIDirector
Contributors’ opinions and statementsshould not be considered anendorsement by the FBI for any policy,program, or service.The attorney general has determinedthat the publication of this periodicalis necessary in the transaction of thepublic business required by law. Useof funds for printing this periodical hasbeen approved by the director of theOffice of Management and Budget.The
FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin 
(ISSN-0014-5688) is publishedmonthly by the Federal Bureau ofInvestigation, 935 PennsylvaniaAvenue, N.W., Washington, D.C.20535-0001. Periodicals postage paidat Washington, D.C., and additionalmailing offices. Postmaster: Sendaddress changes to Editor,
FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin 
, FBI Academy,Law Enforcement Communication Unit,Hall of HonorQuantico, VA 22135.
John E. Ott
Associate Editors 
Cynthia L. LewisDavid W. MacWhaBunny S. Morris
Art Director 
Denise Bennett Smith
Assistant Art Director 
Stephanie L. Lowe
Staff Assistants 
Cynthia H. McWhirtGabriel E. RyanArlene F. SmithThis publication is produced bymembers of the Law EnforcementCommunication Unit, Training Division.Issues are available online at
E-mail Address
Cover Photo
Photos.comSend article submissions to Editor,
FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin 
,FBI Academy, Law EnforcementCommunication Unit, Hall of Honor,Quantico, VA 22135.
ISSN 0014-5688USPS 383-310
April 2008 / 1
n the spirit of lessons learned from the tragicevents of September 11, 2001, the
 FBI Law
 Enforcement Bulletin
presents three feature ar-ticles on laser threats derived from both negligentuse and the intentional criminal employment of laser devices and weapons that can disrupt humanvision and potentially cause short- and long-termdamage to the human eye. The danger this threatrepresents increases substantially when civil and private aircraft, commercial cargo carriers, and air- borne law enforcement entities become the targetsof these laser illuminations. Loss of pilot visionand air-ground reference can result in serious andcatastrophic outcomes that can lead to both crewand passenger injury and loss of life, as well asimperil citizens on the ground.To adequately address this topic, the
once again has joined with the Futures WorkingGroup (FWG), a partnership between the FBI andthe Society of Police Futurists International (
http:// www.policefuturists.org 
). Thefirst such collabora-tion took place in the January 2004 issue on futuresresearch and policing. The mission of the FWGis to promote innovation through the pursuit of scholarly research in the area of police futures toethically maximize the effectiveness of local, state,federal, and international law enforcement bodiesas they strive to maintain peace and security in the21st century. Members have completed projects onsuch topics as the use of augmented-reality tech-nology, neighborhood-driven policing, homelandsecurity, policing mass casualty events, and thefuture of policing. As part of the FWG, the Futur-ists in Residence (FIR) program, operational since2004, affords researchers and practitioners an op- portunity to conduct original research. The FIR pro-gram, housed within the Behavioral Science Unit of the FBI Academy, has conducted research on hu-man resource management in policing, the future of leadership in law enforcement, and the current ef-fort on lasers as weapons that police may encountertoday and, perhaps more so, in the future.The three feature articles cover several aspectsof laser threats, especially those most applicableto the law enforcement community. First, “LaserWeapons” provides an overview of weaponry evo-lution and how lasers and other forms of directedenergy systems have begun to supplant conven-tionalfirearms because of enhanced tactical andoperational functions. Next, “Disruptive and De-structive Effects of Laser Illuminations” describesthe potential dangers associated with lasers and of-fers countermeasures for those targeted, especiallylaw enforcement officers. Finally, “Laser LegalIssues” highlights the importance of deterring laserincidents and the need for statutory provisions toenable prosecution for these acts.All three articles echo the need for the lawenforcement profession and the public to becomeaware of the potential dangers associated with laserilluminations. Whether wielded by a terrorist intenton forcing an airliner to crash or by an ardent fantrying to attract a celebrity
s attention, lasers cancause immense tragedy. But, by recognizing thedangers, taking steps to reduce illuminations, andenacting effective laws regarding the malicioususe of lasers, society can ensure that this emergingthreat will notflourish.
Recognizing Laser Threats 
Dynamic Graphics
aser and beam weaponshave been the stuff of sciencefiction lorefor many years. Good sciencefiction, however, is based onsome kind of science fact and, if done properly, will become lessimplausible over time. This nowis occurring with lasers
 bothwhen used in an improvisedweaponry role and when produced as dedicated laserweapons.
Military entities have debat-ed the implications of a shift tolaser and other forms of directedenergy weaponry for quite sometime. In today’s world of terror-ist plots and increasingly violentcriminals, the law enforcementcommunity must become awareof this development as well.While most information on thetopic has been military in nature,a growing body of literature has begun to focus on the terrorism potential and criminal use of laser systems against civilaviation and airborne andground law enforcement assets.
This law enforcement threat hasemerged in tandem with amarked increase in lasings andilluminations over the pastdecade and the national trackingof these incidents by the FederalAviation Administration (FAA).Other issues of interest touchupon law enforcement
s futureutilization of lasers and directedenergy weapons and citizens’future right to bear laserarms(handheld laser weapons). A
Laser Weapons 
An Emerging Threat 
2 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

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