The notion that any organization could stuff several thousand vendors and many thousands of law enforcement professionals into one convention center is pretty amazing, but the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) did just that this past October when it held its 114th Annual Conference at the New Orleans Convention Center. The city’s residents rolled out the red carpet, and while some damaged areas and large portions of the city are still rebuilding, the downtown—including the Convention Center—is back in business.
If you’ve never attended an IACP conference, do yourself a favor and put it on your calendar for next Nov. 8-12, in San Diego. It’s truly the world’s largest law enforcement technology marketplace. The vendor exhibition runs for three days, and while you think you’ll have time, you’ll quickly discover you can’t come close to visiting all the displays and talking to all of the manufacturers you want to.
Many of the products on display have been around for a while, but the real treat is seeing all the new stuff. The IACP show is the place to find out what’s new and on the horizon for law enforcement technology.
Here’s a baker’s dozen of the most interesting and innovative stuff I saw.
If you’ve ever needed to climb a tree to look around, you’ll understand the equation behind ICx Tactical Platform’s Sky Watch: Height equals enhanced control. Available in four models, the Sky Watch units are essentially elevated observation platforms, but that doesn’t begin to describe them. Once the Sky Watch unit is mounted on a trailer and delivered to a site, one individual can deploy it. Five stabilizer arms fold out to level and support the unit. Extending arms elevate the unit’s cab, placing the officer in a much better position to surveil a large area. Fully equipped for the officer’s safety and comfort, the unit’s cab features heating and air-conditioning units, 110V and 12V outlets, a fire extinguisher and other conveniently-situated gear. A solar panel provides additional power, and a failsafe hydraulic system provides automatic and manual ascent and descent controls. Tinted windows, floodlights and a large selection of surveillance and observation equipment complete the package. ICx Tactical Platforms 105 Forest Parkway Air Logistics Center II, Suite 400 Forest Park, GA 30297 Tel. 800/762-4796 Fax 770/850-1551 www.icxnewheights.com
Lumenyte’s Solid State Security Illumination Mat System (SS-SIMS) is an under-vehicle illumination system designed for law enforcement and military personnel who inspect the undercarriages of vehicles, such as at a gated entry point. Fully portable and made to set up in minutes by one officer, the system provides an even, glare-free light for vehicle inspections. A very rugged, modular system, the SS-SIMS uses LED components rather than fragile filament-based lights. Lamp life is approximately 30,000 hours, and the instant-on lights require no warm-up time. You can power the SS-SIMS with 110–240V AC, portable batteries or via an attachment to a vehicle battery. It’s water tight and utilizes crush-proof connectors. Lumenyte offers several other products for use in conjunction with the SS-SIMS, including a telescoping search mirror; a lighted under-vehicle assessment mirror; a product called PipeLyte (which uses a flexible extension that can safely be immersed into a gas tank for internal inspection); and VestLyte, a small, solid-state light that attaches to your clothing, available in several colors. Lumenyte International Corporation 74 Icon Foothill Ranch, CA 92610 E-mail: email@example.com Tel. 949/829-5400 Fax 949/829-5201 www.lumenyte.com
The COPLINK Solution Suite software programs are designed to organize and analyze seemingly unrelated information from apparently incompatible databases. Tactically sophisticated, COPLINK employs state-of-the-art security algorithms to ensure privacy and security of the data. Among the multiple elements of COPLINK, one that most intrigues me is INTEL LEAD, designed to securely crunch such data as source type, source reliability and content validity, while ensuring full compliance with federal and state regulations that govern privacy considerations. COPLINK 7750 E. Broadway Blvd., Ste. 100 Tucson, AZ 85710 Tel. 877/522-9599 Fax 520/570-0870 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.coplink.com
The DuraVision Pro Clear LED Safety Light from Fun Source clips to your traffic vest, shirt pocket or just about anyplace else. The small unit houses a cluster of six amazingly bright red and blue LED lights. Approximately one cubic inch in size, the device can easily be carried in a pocket for quick activation. A small pushbutton on the bottom of the unit starts the red and blue lights flashing in a circular, randomized fashion—very attention-getting. A second push sets the lights flashing on and off together, and a third push turns all the lights to constant-on. A fourth push turns the unit off. Two included standard lithium 2032 batteries power the DuraVison Pro. A rugged clip secures it to your clothing. Although the entire light weighs only one ounce, the manufacturer says it’s visible out to 3,500 feet, and I believe it. It’s very bright. With the dangers faced by officers working around traffic, this little light is worth more than its weight in gold. Fun Source, LLC 922 Ninth Way Vero Beach, FL 32960 Tel. 722/770-4106 E-mail: email@example.com www.funsourcellc.com
Sound & Optics Systems’ Sentri II is a multifunction surveillance system primarily made up of an acoustic recognition module that listens for a sound similar to a gunshot, matches the sound’s profile to a gunshot, locates the sound’s source, zooms in on that spot with a video camera and transmits a live video feed to your command-and-control center. The Sentri II is weather-resistant with an optional bullet-resistant housing. The system includes GPS and a mapping solution. Equipped with emergency backup power, it’s easy to install and relocate. Functioning as a standalone unit or networked to cover a larger area, the system can also be deployed as a mobile unit for special events. Sound & Optics Systems 3217 E. Shea Blvd., Ste. 466 Phoenix, AZ 85028 Tel. 800/605-2782 E-mail:
firstname.lastname@example.org ; www.sos-corp.com
Police agencies and the military have extensively tested and used the FIRE Panel Vehicular Fire Protection System. A simple system without complex sensors or activation switches, the FIRE Panel is composed of a polymer shell containing a fire-suppression powder and is positioned at the fuel tank. When a rear vehicle impact occurs, the panel shatters and the powder forms a suppressant cloud around the vehicle. As the vehicle moves forward after impact, the suppressant cloud moves with it. The FIRE Panel has already been reported to have performed properly in several on-the-job collisions. Fast and easy to install, the device weighs less than 11 lbs. You can transfer it easily from one vehicle to another as you replace your fleet. F.I.R.E. Panel LLC 15690 N. 83rd Way, Ste. B Scottsdale, AZ 85260 Tel. 888/282-8394 Fax: 480/778-1773 E-mail: email@example.com ;
The Text Attribution Tool from Appen allows investigators to process a document of unknown origin—like an e-mail or a written note—and get a profile of the likely characteristics of the author. These include the author’s probable age and gender, education level and native language. Demographic and psychometric profiling tools perform the analysis. The program also provides a “level of confidence” as to the accuracy of the profile. If investigators have access to additional documents, they can use the program’s capabilities to find similar documents, likely written by the same individual. This proves very useful when multiple investigators work a case. Appen Pty. Ltd. P.O. Box 5190 West Chatswood NSW 9195, Australia Tel. 61-2-9468-6300 Fax: 61-2/9468-6301 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ;
Dynamic Animation Systems’ Virtual Interactive Combat Environment (V.I.C.E.) system is a simulator, but one like you’ve never seen before. The V.I.C.E. is a unit trainer, geared to train groups of officers how to interact during a confrontation. Rather than one or two officers standing in front of a projection screen and reacting to what they see, the V.I.C.E. puts a group of officers in the scene. Each trainee has their own training lane and screen. Using a wireless weapon, they move through the scene on the screen. This is made possible by video-projecting avatars, or lifelike representations of the other officers or trainees. So, as the individual sees their movement as if the scene on screen was really happening in front of them, they see the avatars of team members also moving through the scene. This feature allows members of a team to practice unit tactics. Trainees focus not so much on marksmanship, but more on movement and general situational awareness. In effect, the V.I.C.E. removes many of the limitations inherent in earlier generation simulators. Dynamic Animation Systems 12015 Lee Jackson Hwy., Ste. 200 Fairfax, VA 22033 Tel. 703/503-0500 Fax: 703/425-2204 E-mail:
This is a PC-based software piece that actually plays out a simulation of a real world disaster or other catastrophe modeled within a community of less than 500,000 residents. It’s really a training package for critical incident management and is based on the FEMA mandated command structure outlined in the National Incident Management System (NIMS). It includes realistic scenarios, including typical time delays and resource shortages. Some of the situations faced by participants include chemical spills, school hostage incidents, severe weather and terrorism. The simulation “players” assume the roles of incident commander and the incident command support team, and have control of public works, police, fire, EMS and school personnel. The simulation can be played by multiple participants—either over your local network or over the Internet—or by individuals. With critical incidents so much in the news, many communities are attempting to develop approaches that will work. The Incident Commander “game” can make that task a lot easier. And, it’s free to authorized public safety agencies. To request it, call NCJRS at 800/851-3420 and ask for product number NCJ# 217516. NCJRS Tel. 800/851-3420 E-mail:
This one’s been around for a while, but it’s still not well known. The Rapid Recovery system is simply a tracking system keyed to a wearable transmitter. The system’s antenna-mounted homing device operates fairly easily to locate a person wearing the wristband-mounted unit, which looks like a cross between a hospital identification bracelet and a clunky wristwatch. In this age of digital everything, the set-up looks decidedly low-tech, but it works. Every police agency has responded to situations in which autistic children or adult Alzheimer’s patients have wandered off. A lot of resources can get tied up while officers search every nook for a lost victim who could be right underfoot. Because such persons often don’t realize they’re lost, they don’t know to respond to people calling their name or other search tactics. Care Trak products are in use by more than 400 police agencies and have assisted in more than 1,300 rescues, with an average recovery time of 22 minutes. Care Trak International, Inc. 1202 Walnut St. Murphysboro, IL 62966 Tel. 800/842-4537 Fax: 618/687-3539 E-mail: Submit at www.caretrak.com/contact/contact.php; www.caretrak.com
Telescopik.com’s Magnetik Chevron Mat is one of those things you can’t believe you didn’t think of. Imagine those big directional arrow boards that highway crews use to move traffic from one lane into another. Now picture the same concept but with the arrows attached to a foldable fabric. The arrows—chevrons, actually—are day-glo orange, outlined with bright amber LEDs heat-welded to the fabric. The battery-powered mat folds into a 12"x21" carrying bag. When you need to move traffic, you can either stand in the road waving your flashlight or you can unfold the Chevron Mat, turn it on and stick it to the back of your patrol unit (it’s magnetic). Want the traffic to go to the other side of your car? Easy. Just flip the mat over. These are high-tech LEDs in a low-tech solution that works. Telescopik.com GTM Canada, Inc. 30 Rue de l’Anse au Griffon Laval H7Y 1V1, Quebec, Canada Tel. 514/825-4827 Fax: 450/969-3167 E-mail: email@example.com; www.telescopik.com
Camero’s Xaver 800 sees through walls. Using microwave ultra wide-band technology, the unit detects the bad guys hiding in the next room. The unit can see through most wall constructions, including cement, plaster, brick, concrete, reinforced concrete and wood. Hand-carried or tripod-mounted, the Xaver 800’s multi-sensor array provides a three-dimensional perspective. If the wall materials pose too much difficulty, the unit provides a two-dimensional view. The more cluttered the room, the more the patented image-reconstruction algorithms come into play to cope with the interference. With the ability to detect both moving and stationary objects, the Xaver 800 uses a multi-channel sensor for improved reliability and reduced clutter. With battery, it weighs 33 lbs. Camero USA Corp. 8618 Westwood Center Dr., Ste. 410 Vienna, VA 22182 Tel. 703/752-6640 Fax: 703/752-6644 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.camero-usa.com
Just about everyone uses some kind of software to manage work schedules. Whether you’re currently using a sophisticated special-purpose program or a simple homemade spreadsheet, Jivasoft’s On Duty and Xtra Duty software is worth a look. It’s simple to use and addresses the secondary issues that can make the job of scheduling so difficult. The On Duty software manages your schedule, shift assignments, leave time, roster preparation and roll calls. But that’s not the best part. Many administrators struggle to keep track of special-duty assignments, sometimes known as voluntary overtime or extra duty. Here the Xtra Duty software really shines. It assists in keeping the extra-duty assignments fairly distributed and provides documentation to answer claims of favoritism. And, it helps you document those situations where your agency must bill an outside entity for overtime hours worked. Jivasoft Corp. 120 W. Village Blvd., Ste. 121 Laredo, TX 78041 Tel. 956/723-8200 Fax: 956/723-8262 E-mail: email@example.com www.jivasoft.com