Thursday, July 26, 2012

Drones: Not Just For Military & Police Surveillance

We have previously written about drones and how police departments are utilizing drones.  When used by police, the drones are not used for constant surveillance of an area.  They are sent into the air when a situation arises that officers on the ground are not able to get a clear picture of.

Firefighters often have the same issue.  When fighting a large fire, such as the wildfires recently in Colorado, it is difficult for firefighters on the ground to have a full understanding of what is happening with the fire around them.  This is where drones have been found to be useful.

Drones are lightweight.  They can fly in virtually any weather situation (without putting a human pilot at risk).  A drone can take off from virtually anywhere (unlike a helicopter or plane).  They are more cost efficient, as they run off a small electric engine that can generally fly for several hours.  This allows a person on the ground to quickly and safely collect information regarding the fire.

The information a drone can collect will definitely vary upon the model being utilized, but drones designed for firefighter use are able to:

  • give a bird's eye view of the scene
  • detect unseen persons (such as those trapped under rubble) utilizing infrared cameras
  • detect dangerous/poisonous gases
The concept of utilizing drones for firefighting is actually taking off quite quickly in European countries.  Check out the following video of one being utilized in Germany.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Claymore Mine of Tasers

This new product by TASER was actually brought to my attention by a police member, and although it might be deemed as overkill for some, it definitely has its place where it will be useful!

This new product is called the TASER Shockwave.  It is essentially a claymore mine of TASERs.  The TASER Shockwave perimeter control system is the first generation of new TASER Remote Area Denial™ (TRAD) technology allowing for both increased safety and stand-off capability during hostile situations through the innovative use of TASER International's field-proven Neuro Muscular Incapacitation (NMI) technology.
  • Stackable, easy to set up platform for Less Lethal perimeter control
  • TASER Shockwave controls a door entrance or other target zone
  • The TASER Shockwave can be mounted to the front of police or military vehicle 
  • The TASER shockwave is remote controlled, allowing officers to utilize the product away from danger
  • Multiple Unit Configuration - The Shockwave ECD can be arranged in vertical and horizontal configurations with up to 12 units on a single control box, allowing up to three salvos.
  • Versatile Mounting System - The TASER Shockwave can be mounted on a variety of objects, such as vehicles, or fencing.
  • Unit Payload - Each single TASER Shockwave unit has a payload of six TASER cartridges, allowing for multiple person incapacitation through Area Denial.
  • Self-Supporting Leg System - The TASER Shockwave system can be deployed in virtually any terrain.
  • Manual Sighting System - Ensures user accuracy.
  • Vehicle Mountable - The Shockwave ECD's versatile mounting system gives it the ability to be fully mounted to vehicles for various situational control.
  • Arcing Six Shot - Each single TASER Shockwave unit has a payload of six TASER cartridges, allowing for multiple person incapacitation through Area Denial.
  • All Terrain Setup - The TASER Shockwave system can be deployed in virtually any terrain.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

IMPACT: Making the world safer through technology

Peace of mind comes with confidence in knowing you can rely on your software provider and that your needs are met.  Mission critical software for police, fire, EMS, public safety and justice personnel is IMPACT's only business.  They concentrate specifically on satisfying the information-sharing demands of first responders.  Their system was built utilizing intimate knowledge of police, fire and EMS the creates have nearly three decades of experience in the field.
IMPACT provides the world's most advanced information-sharing innovations.  Their technologies are engineered to perform under the most demanding circumstances, enabling quick responses.  This keeps officers safe and provides necessary information at critical moments when every second counts.  IMPACT's products include computer aided dispatching, complete records management, mobile tactical field reporting, ticket processing, GPS automatic vehicle location, precision mapping, alarm billing, special interfaces for E-911, NCIC, live-scan fingerprinting technology, jail management systems, and fire/EMS records management systems.  There is essentially a product for every first responder out there!

IMPACT understands that no two fire, police, EMS, or private safety departments are exactly alike.  Because of this, the programs offered by IMPACT are extremely versatile.  The programs offered can be purchased as a whole or just specific programs can be utilized.  All IMPACT programs are completely compatible with one another, allowing a seamless flow of information between multiple agencies within the same area.

A few of the optional software programs include:
  • Alarm Billing: allows law enforcement personnel to track and charge false alarm violators
  • Photo Imaging: Supports mug shots, crime scene photos, evidence photos, digital imagery, sound files, and video clips
  • E911: Enables rapid data entry for immediate dispatch of response units
  • Field Reporting: enables real-time creation and submission of incident reports from the field
To learn more about IMPACT's technology solutions, visit them at or give them a call at (800)871-1244.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Keep Your Toughbook From Draining Your Battery!

If you have a Panasonic Toughbook mounted in one your vehicles, the Dock Master by Copeland Engineering, Inc. is definitely a product you need to put on your wish list!

This product hard-wires to your vehicle, via a simple installation procedure and transfers data via a USB connection.  The Dock Master then prevents the computer from draining the vehicle battery which protects the computer and the vehicle from a wide array of possible technical issues.

For the low price of only $209.95, the Dock Master will:

  • Eliminate computer downtime
  • Prevent laptops from draining batteries
  • Alert the user of low vehicle voltage
  • Monitor vehicle voltage, and adjust accordingly to protect the computer 
  • Allow the user to selectively discharge the laptop battery
  • Automatically shut down computers when battery power is low, to prevent the loss of critical data
  • Includes a 2 year warranty
  • Comes with customizable software that is both Windows XP and Windows 7 compatible

Dock Master can be purchased from a variety of vendors located throughout the United States.  A list of available vendors can be located on the Copeland website.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Hello Minority Report???

For those who haven't seen the movie Minority Report.  Minority Report is a 2002 American science fiction film directed by Steven Spielberg. It is set in the year 2054, where "PreCrime", a specialized police department, apprehends criminals based on foreknowledge provided by three psychics.  It seems a bit far-fetched that people (or a machine) could actually predict crime....however, it is happening.  Our technology, might not be quite as predictive as that shown in the movie, but it is still quite impressive.

A few intuitive developers reformulated the technology that was originally created to predict when and where aftershocks would occur following an earthquake.  This led to a new program called PredPol, which actually predicts where crimes are likely to occur in place-based prediction boxes as small as 500 feet by 500 feet. Officers are briefed at roll call on the highest-probability “hot spots” for that day and devote extra attention to those areas—as they see fit.  Unlike other programs that tell officers where crime has occurred, PredPol tells officers where crime is likely to occur.  It simply gives officers the tools they need to increase their odds of stopping a crime or being in the vicinity of a crime.

The program is remarkably easy to use.  The information that needs to be distributed to officers can be viewed from virtually any technological device or printed out on paper.  The program runs off-site through a cloud-based service, meaning there is no requirement for departments to bring on additional technical staff.  The program is also completely secure, and does not ever collect any information about officers or offenders.

Field use of the program has been successful.  It has been implemented in the Los Angeles Foothills and in the City of Santa Cruz.  The Los Angeles’ Foothill Division saw a decrease of 13% in crimes, compared to an increase of 0.4% in the rest of the city where the implementation had not yet happened.  In the City of Santa Cruz, burglaries were down 27% in July 2011 compared with July 2010.

Check out the following video from CBS News to view the program in action by the LAPD.

To learn more about this remarkable program, contact PredPol.

Friday, July 6, 2012

NuShield Screen Protectors

NuShield, Inc. is the nation’s leading manufacturer and distributor of screen protectors, screen protector kits, and touch screen overlays for electronic equipment. Their inventory is broad, and includes screen protection films for auto and GPS navigation devices, digital cameras and camcorders, electronic games, handheld computers, HDTV, industrial control devices, inventory control devices, laptops and tablets, LCD monitors, marine and aviation equipment, PDAs, Phones, POS displays, signature capture devices, Toughbooks and other electronic devices used in manufacturing and commercial applications. In all, they have screen protectors to fit over 6,000 electronic devices.

NuShield screen protection films are manufactured in the United States and are custom designed. These films are available to fit a wide variety of electronic devices and meet specific user needs.  The anti-glare and DayVue (antireflective) film can fit devices with screens up to 50 inch diagonal. NuShield screen protectors have undergone rigorous tests by the U.S. military to protect the LCD screens of their sensitive electronic equipment from scratching, chemicals, sea salt, dust, and sand.

NuShield screen protectors:

  • protect LCDs from keyboard damage
  • save LCD screens from scratches and sun glare
  • hides fingerprints and reduces screen glare in cars
  • installs easily and lasts indefinitely (with no adhesive film)
  • are super thin
  • can be cleaned easily and quickly without degrading anti-glare properties
  • does not affect touchscreen capabilities
  • are low cost (most are priced under $25.00)
Orders can easily be placed on the NuShield website.  Obtaining the proper screen for you unit is virtually fool-proof, as they are ordered based on make/model of the unit you are looking to protect.  When it comes time for installation, you simply need to follow the detailed installation directions posted on their site.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Rugged Keyboards from Man & Machine

Many departments prefer to mount Panasonic Toughbook CF-19's in their vehicles.  The reasoning behind it is relatively simple.  They are small, lightweight, fast, rugged, portable, and don't require a great deal of space.  However, a common complaint with many officers is the keyboard size on the CF-19.  Because it is a tablet unit, the keyboard on it is significantly smaller than standard-sized laptop keyboard.  Many departments mount the CF-19 as a tablet and then utilize a separate keyboard.

The issue that then arises is finding a keyboard that is going to stand up to the abuse that it will most likely receive in the vehicle.  There are the temperature fluctuations, the possible food/drink spills, and most importantly finding something that will easily work with the existing equipment in the vehicle.

That is where the So Cool keyboard by Man & Machine comes in!  Rugged, tough and built to take whatever the road dishes out.  So Cool is rattle-free, easy-to-clean and dependable as the day is long. 
You get advanced technology with multi-level backlight and great tactile feedback for a die-hard trooper you'll be proud to ride with.  The So Cool is a solid piece of silicone, meaning it is food/drink proof and has no parts to break.  It easily attaches to all major mounting systems, meaning it is an easy addition to the equipment you presently have in your vehicle.  This keyboard is a perfect in-vehicle solution for police, fire, and EMS vehicles.

This product is brand new and is releasing soon to the public safety sector.  You can follow Man & Machine on Facebook to stay up to date on when this product releases.