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January 2014 Advances & Applications

Saemisch + Di Bella Architects Unveils New Fiesta District Police Station in Mesa, Arizona

The City of Mesa had a grand opening ceremony for its new police station in the Fiesta District. The Mesa, Arizona, Police Department’s Dobson District has been renamed the Fiesta District, and it serves 13 square miles in the city’s southwestern corner. The new station is the cornerstone of Fiesta District renovation plans in Mesa, Arizona.

“Public safety is a top priority for our city council and our residents, who voted overwhelmingly to build the Fiesta Police Station along with many other public safety and transportation projects,” said Mayor Scott Smith. “I’m proud that our residents chose to invest in our community and the opening of this station is another indication that the Fiesta District is moving forward.” The new Fiesta District station is eco-friendly: 60 percent of its power comes from solar panels and 80 percent of the materials used in the construction are recycled materials.

The new station replaced the aging, overcrowded facility on South Dobson Road.

“I had people working out of closets. No kidding. What used to be a supply closet was a sergeant’s office. We crammed a little metal desk in there, a little filing cabinet, put a phone and a computer in there. And that was his office,” Police Commander Mark Wesselman said.

The new station has space for over 200 officers and support staff, state of the art electronics, and a fitness facility.

For more information, visit

SendUs Partners with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to Revolutionize Responses to Terrorism, Large-Scale Criminal Events, and Disasters Enabling Real-Time Collaboration among All U.S. Policing Agencies

Law enforcement professionals across the United States will soon have a powerful new tool that will change the way they and the public respond to suspected terrorist and criminal acts, and large-scale emergencies. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) is partnering with SendUs, a leading platform for user-generated video content, to launch a pioneering technology that will enable U.S. law enforcement and relief agencies to receive, manage, and share high-resolution, “on-the-scene” videos and images uploaded by eyewitnesses. This new technology can make a vital difference in solving or preventing crimes, speeding emergency responses, and saving lives.

The innovative approach to uploading eyewitness videos, known as LEEDIR (Large Emergency Event Digital Information Repository), is the brainchild of Los Angeles County Sheriff Leroy D. Baca and goes live with an exercise to protect lives this month, January 2014. The LEEDIR service represents a major contribution to homeland security in the United States and will be provided free of charge by SendUs to federal, state, and local agencies during major emergency events.

When a major emergency occurs, policing agencies will broadcast public service alerts requesting the submission of eyewitness videos and photos from terrorist events, natural disasters, or large-scale criminal events. Eyewitnesses will be able to easily upload videos and photos from mobile and web devices to LEEDIR’s secure, centralized repository, even if they are large, high-resolution files. The SendUs technology will then permit the content to be rapidly evaluated, categorized, and shared among multiple public safety agencies enabling real-time collaboration and ensuring prompt action.

“Through SendUs, LEEDIR’s next generation video-capture program can turn virtually any smartphone into a powerful crime fighting and lifesaving tool,” said Sheriff Baca. “The value of eyewitness-generated video in solving crimes and protecting public safety has been proven time and again, from the Boston Marathon attack to a host of other crimes and emergency situations. LEEDIR will provide a secure, centralized web location for citizens to come forward with videos and photos. It will be easy to use, secure, and technologically robust. The process for submitting content to law enforcement will be familiar to anyone who’s ever uploaded video to YouTube or shared it with friends via social media. We are deeply grateful to SendUs and Amazon Web Services (AWS) for making this innovative public safety tool available.”

In order to launch the program, SendUs is providing its services in developing and managing the LEEDIR platform, and AWS is providing the cloud infrastructure on which the platform is built to law enforcement at no cost to taxpayers.

Chief Ted Sexton, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homeland Security Division, said, “The sheriff's idea for LEEDIR is revolutionary. The LAX shooting today [November 1, 2013] would have been the perfect opportunity to activate LEEDIR. LEEDIR allows any law enforcement agency in the nation to have ‘on retainer,’ a digital repository, an electronic bucket, that can be activated with a simple phone call and click of the button. Once the bucket is activated, the public can send in digital pictures and video from the scene, and it will expand and contract on the fly.”

“I also see the benefits to LEEDIR after a large natural disaster like a large earthquake in the region. Reconnaissance and response efforts may be hampered by damaged streets and freeways, so with LEEDIR, the public can help us by sending in pictures and video so we can better prioritize our response and recovery operations,” said Chief Sexton.

For more information, visit

Sacramento County Sheriff's Department Conducts Operation Trick or Treat on Area Criminals with Vigilant Solutions License Plate Recognition

Vigilant Solutions announced that the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department and other area agencies conducted a one-day sweep of Sacramento County using its license plate recognition (LPR) systems and historical LPR data to yield impressive results.

Operation Trick or Treat was conducted on Wednesday, October 30th, to demonstrate the effectiveness of LPR systems installed on patrol cars and to highlight how historical data are useful, not only for investigations, but also in coordinated patrol operations.

Sergeant Kyle Hoertsch commented on the results, “The operation far surpassed my expectations. We scanned around 70,000 license plates, which yielded over 400 vehicles of interest in only six hours. Over 25 recovered stolen vehicles and around the same number of arrests were made. The arrests included a number from occupied stolen vehicles, but the majority were made possible through the use of historical LPR data from Vigilant Solutions as well as our own agency data to locate individuals with outstanding warrants, including many DUIs. In addition to these results, we also located a missing person vehicle and a stolen tractor trailer out of Tennessee, and we reunited two owners with their stolen cars.”

The operation was a coordinated effort among several agencies, coordinated by Sergeant Hoertsch. “It was the historical data that was very helpful to us in locating individuals with outstanding warrants. Many of these individuals are difficult to locate, and the historical LPR data allowed for us to identify probable locations for these wanted individuals. I can say that Sacramento County is a safer place as a result of our operation.”

The owner of one of the stolen vehicles that was recovered and returned commented that she was very grateful for Sacramento County Sheriff's efforts and for the technology that allowed her car to be returned to her. When asked if she minded having her license plate scanned, she said, “By all means, please do.” ♦

For more information, visit



From The Police Chief, vol. 81, no. 1, January 2014. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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