Calling All Cars, From The Front Seat
State and local police departments in New Hampshire are testing a new system that allows officers to use voice commands to activate various police car functions, such as sirens and lights.
The technology, dubbed Project54, also allows users to communicate with other agencies such as the FBI, provides real-time data to officers including outstanding warrants, and permits searching in multiple databases, reveals New Hampshire State Police Sergeant Mark Liebl.
Officers can continue to drive without having to use their hands to turn on equipment. For example, officers can vocalize a license plate number while driving, and the system will “read the results back to the officer,” says Brett Vinciguerra, program director for Project54 at the University of New Hampshire, the recipient of an approximately $17 million, three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.
The technology has so far been added to about 140 police cruisers in about 18 local departments, with an additional 130 departments lined up, says Vinciguerra, who adds that the project has attracted interest from overseas and from companies wanting to market the technology nationwide.
“If you’re going 70 miles an hour, you don’t want to take your eye off the road,” explains Kingston Police Chief Donald W. Briggs Jr.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Boston Globe (04/22/04) P. 7; Kittredge, Clare .