Police Armed and Ready With Latest Gadgetry
Law enforcement agencies around the country are testing a variety of new products that they hope will allow them to do their jobs more safely and efficiently.
For example, officers in Michigan and California have tested PAS Systems International’s Sniffer flashlight, which “sniffs” ambient air, breath, or enclosed spaces for the presence of alcohol.
Meanwhile, police in Chicago have outfitted a number of their squad cars with a hand-operated device called Tacnet. The device, which is made by Visteon, allows officers to control their patrol car’s lights, sirens, radio, video, computer functions, and more. A touch-screen panel mounted on the squad car’s dashboard provides expanded control and feedback.
Another technology that some law enforcement agencies are trying out is IVACS, which stands for integrated video armored computer servers. Some of the law enforcement agencies who are using IVACS are connecting windshield-mounted cameras and wireless microphones worn by officers to the system in order to film traffic arrests. The technology will help law enforcement agencies evaluate officers and provide them with irrefutable video evidence.
All this technology will not only help officers work quickly and safely, but will help them to focus more on the community aspects of police work, said David Hohf, manager of information services division for the Chicago Police Department. “The mundane tasks and reports can be done by computers, and police can go back to having a neighborhood presence and interacting again with people,” he said.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC) from the Chicago Tribune (01/01/07); P. 4; Sharos, David.