Thermal-Imaging Tool To Aid Police
Thermal-imaging technology, which was used heavily by allied forces during the war in Iraq, is now being used for an increasingly broad number of applications across the United States and in other parts of the world, especially among law enforcement agencies.
For instance, authorities in Florida used the technology to locate survivors of an airplane crash and authorities in Hong Kong are using the technology to detect people who are infected with the SARS virus.
The Flower Mound, Texas, police force is placing the technology atop one of its squad cars to help officers see at night. Officials hope that the technology-enhanced squad car will enable police to identify burglars and other criminals, teens violating curfew, and even stray pets.
“This can be our eyes at night,” says Flower Mound Capt. Byron Lake. The device, produced by Raytheon, is controlled by a joystick inside the squad car, meaning that the device can swivel and scan entire areas outside the car. The technology is so sensitive that it can identify the glow of warm handprints on a wall or footprints on the ground.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Dallas Morning News (06/25/03) P. 1Q; Bensman, Todd.