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Back to Archives | Back to September 2006 Contents 

Advances & Applications

HopeDigits Phone Services Help Police and Victims of Domestic Abuse
HopeDigits announces that it has helped police officers in Colfax, Iowa, direct victims of domestic abuse to a useful resource: a provider of free, private phone numbers.

The Colfax Police Department consists of four full-time, four part-time, and 10 reserve officers. The agency serves a community of 2,500 people on the western edge of Jasper County, 23 miles east of Des Moines.

"We have contact with victims and are usually able to follow up on them and thereby gain a greater understanding of their plight, but getting them resources is sometimes a challenge, especially with domestic violence," said Officer Paul Kuhlman, who works the night shift and often has direct contact with crime victims. "If the victims don't get the help they need, they may in fact go back to their abuser and continue to place themselves in jeopardy of further harm."

Understanding the domestic violence cycle, Kuhlman and his fellow officers refer victims to HopeDigits, an online enterprise that allows individuals to obtain free and private phone numbers on demand. They can use the numbers to retrieve voicemail messages and forward calls to a cell phone or land line. By design, the phone numbers can be acquired instantly, and phone calls to the number can be instantly received. HopeDigits is also a free service for police agencies.

"HopeDigits gives the victim a free phone number that they have total control over, and is a way to stay in contact with support groups like friends, family, the domestic violence advocate, police and prosecutors, in the event that the victim moves to a shelter or another safe location, without having to worry about the abuser finding them," said Kuhlman.

For more information, click here, and insert number 201 in the box on the Reader Service Number response service.

Oklahoma City Partners with NICE Systems to Improve Communications
NICE Systems announces that it is providing Oklahoma City with an integrated solution for capturing and managing emergency communications. The city is implementing the NICE solution as part of a comprehensive public safety capital improvement initiative to upgrade the city's critical public safety infrastructure.

Oklahoma City invested in the new NICE solution in conjunction with other improvements designed to boost public safety, including a new EDACS trunked radio system from M/A-COM, and a state-of-the-art emergency communication center built to withstand an F5 tornado.

The communication center, which went online in January of this year, is equipped with VoIP phones for dispatcher and administrative use and employs circuit-switched telephony for incoming 911 calls. Handling police, fire, and EMS calls, the consolidated center also serves as the hub for the city's new M/A-COM trunked radio system. According to Kerry Wagnon, program director for Oklahoma City's Public Safety Capital Project Office, the ability to capture and reconstruct all of these different types of emergency communications was central to the city's selection of NICE: "Our citywide strategy is to move to Voice over IP, so it was a natural progression for us to use VoIP in our new 911 center," said Wagnon. "In addition to these VoIP interactions, we needed to record our 911 calls and EDACS trunked radio traffic too. Since NICE can capture and reconstruct all of these different types of emergency communications, the move to NICE made strategic sense for us."

The NICE solution is designed to capture communications from 16 call-taker positions and interactions from 60 IP phones in use at the center. It is also designed to capture all police and fire radio communications from the city's M/A-COM trunked radio system.

"With our NICE solution, we'll be able to have as many talkgroups as we want in our trunked radio system and still be able to capture them all," said Wagnon. "It was NICE's VoIP and trunked radio capture capabilities, and Scenario Replay, that came together to help us make the decision to go with NICE," said Wagnon. "We're confident that the investments that we've made in NICE and our other capital improvements will help improve public safety for the citizens of Oklahoma City."

For more information, click here, and insert number 202 in the box on the Reader Service Number response service.

New York City Police Deploy Trace Detectors from Smiths Detection
Smiths Detection, a provider of trace and X-ray detection systems, announces that the New York City Police Department has purchased and deployed the Sabre 4000s, a handheld explosives detector, in and around the New York City subway system.

The NYPD conducted a seven-month evaluation of various manufacturers' explosives detection equipment and selected Smiths Detection's Sabre 4000 as its handheld detection unit. The devices will be used along with desktop equipment from other vendors.

The NYPD has begun using the Sabre 4000s explosive trace detection system during the random, nonintrusive screening of passengers and passenger belongings.

Smiths Detection has developed a portfolio of handheld detection products that are designed to enable police officers, emergency responders, and others to quickly and safely screen people and assess threats. The Sabre 4000 is designed to detect and identify explosives, chemical warfare agents, and toxic industrial chemicals. ■

For more information, click here, and insert number 203 in the box on the Reader Service Number response service.



From The Police Chief, vol. 73, no. 9, September 2006. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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