FBI Cracking Down on “Lasing” with National Campaign

Earlier in the year, the FBI was seeing an increasing number of teens using laser pointers to blind pilots in flight. You wouldn’t think the pointer could reach a cockpit in flight, but it can. In fact, lasers may reach a target up to one mile away. When aimed at cockpits, the lasers can blind pilots, creating unsafe conditions in the cockpit/aircraft they are operating. As of December 2013, the FAA had documented at least 35 incidents where pilots required medical attention after a laser strike.

To crack down on this increasing trend, the FBI is expanding its trial program, aimed at deterring people from pointing lasers at aircraft—by rewarding those who provide information about individuals who engage in this dangerous crime and aggressively prosecuting the perpetrators.

A key part of the publicity campaign is reward money. The FBI will offer up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of any individual who intentionally aims a laser at an aircraft.

In the meantime, the FBI is working with state, local, and international law enforcement on the campaign, and are conducting outreach to schools to educate teens about the dangers associated with lasing. The original initiative, which began nearly four months ago, took place in 12 FBI field offices where “lasing” incidents are prevalent. Since then, there has been a 19 percent decrease in the number of reported incidents in the major metropolitan areas of those offices.

Interfering with the operation of an aircraft has long been a federal crime, but in 2012, a new law made it a felony to knowingly point the beam of a laser at an aircraft. The new law lowered the threshold for prosecution and the trend is on the rise for jail time in these cases.

To learn more about the FBI’s campaign and lasing, please visit http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2014/june/protecting-aircraft-from-lasers-trial-program-being-expanded-nationwide.

Film Screening and FBI speaker

CPCC’s Global Learning Office will be hosting a Global Issues Forum Event exploring national security and corporate security.  We will be screening the short film “The Company Man: Protecting America’s Secrets” based on a true story of corporate espionage.  Following the film, we will be hosting a discussion about the The Company Manissues raised, led by an FBI representative.

If you are interested in international, criminal justice, or espionage issues, we encourage you to attend this free event.

Wednesday, Sept. 24
10 – 11:30 a.m.
Merancas Campus Auditorium
Free!
RSVP to Global.learning@cpcc.edu

Check Out This CPCC Crime Scene Photography Class Photo

This is a recent photo taken during a CPCC Crime Scene Photography class. The photo was taken in complete darkness as students learned to shoot bullet trajectory photos at night using lasers. 

The photo was taken in a CPCC activity room and the writing on the wall was done by Burnie Foster, an instructor from the FBI Evidence Response Team, with a laser.