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Back to Archives | Back to November 2003 Contents 

Advances and Applications

Where do the good ideas come from?

In this column, we offer our readers the opportunity to learn about - and benefit from - some of the cutting-edge technologies being implemented by law enforcement colleagues around the world.

LEADS Online Helps Send Texas Killer to Life in Prison

LEADS Online, a Web-based service designed to help law enforcement recover missing personal property through a nationwide Internet database, announces that police investigators used the service in an investigation that led to the conviction of a 22-year-old Texas man on capital murder charges.

The system enables investigators to have instant access to a centralized, nationwide Internet database that currently contains 25 million property transactions conducted by approximately 1,500 pawn and secondhand stores throughout the country.

During a violent crime spree that began May 1 in rural Orange County, Texas, Richard Derek Hoffpauir burglarized a home and then went to another house, where he kidnapped a woman and killed her after pretending his car had broken down. He then fled to San Antonio, where he sold stolen items from the burglarized home at a pawn store. Hoffpauir was later arrested in rural Arkansas after breaking into a home there and wounding the homeowner during a shootout.

Arkansas and Texas investigators interrogated Hoffpauir and later found the body of the slain woman, 21-year-old Christy Marie Goodman, in a secluded wooded area of southeast Texas. Hoffpauir was sentenced to life in prison in August.

As they pieced together the evidence in the case and tried to establish the timeline of the crimes, investigators with the Orange County Sheriff's Department asked San Antonio police to see if any of the items Hoffpauir had stolen were sold at San Antonio-area pawn stores.

Using the LEADS Online system, San Antonio police located the property Hoffpauir had stolen the day of Goodman's kidnapping and murder, and Hoffpauir was later identified in a photo lineup as having pawned the items at the San Antonio pawn store.

"We were actually testing the LEADS Online system at the time, so we checked the system and immediately got a hit on him," said Captain Harry Griffin of the San Antonio Police Department. "He had pawned a couple of items at a store, and that led [investigators] to the burglary that tied him to the murder."

For more information, circle no. 115 on Reader Service Card

Bureau of ATF Acquires Mobile Digital Recorders

Applied Integration Corporation announces the delivery of 34 InCharge portable digital video and audio recorders (DVRs) to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

The InCharge 5156-DNE has been specifically customized according to the ATF's specifications in order to deploy ruggedized portable DVRs designed for a wide variety of field operations scenarios. Each contains two removable hard drives, engineered to provide enough disk storage space to allow up to 500 hours of uninterrupted recording of high-quality video and audio in a small enclosure.

The DVRs permit ATF officers to quickly setup remote observation stations for uninterrupted or triggered recording. External events such as a door opening or a phone ringing can automatically trigger the 5156-DNE to begin recording video.

The stored video is highly compressed to improve quality. It is easily viewed on a PC and remotely over a network. The video files may not be manipulated or altered in any way, and therefore are admissible as evidence in a court of law.

The InCharge Series of embedded DVRs includes 16-channel units for facility surveillance, portable units for remote observation, networked units for high-quality video over a LAN, and mobile (12-volt) units for use in police cars, border patrol vehicles, boats, planes, and other applications.

For more information, circle no. 116 on Reader Service Card Riverside Police Department

Selects Mobile Video Solution

Sequent Technologies, a division of Global ePoint Inc., announces the selection of the Ranger 350i platform, a mobile video solution for law enforcement agencies, by the Riverside Police Department in California. The system is designed to store videos from 35 patrol vehicles for up to one year for later use, if necessary.

"We are very pleased with Sequent's Ranger 350i platform. . . . The system provides high-quality video images and storage, and is easily managed," said Riverside Police Chief Russ Leach.

Sequent's Ranger 350i platform incorporates the company's video data telemetry embedding system and video assembler technology. Officers can transfer video from the patrol car to the storage system by automatically uploading to the storage system wirelessly upon returning to the station.

The in-car system shuts down and powers off with no human intervention and contains no removable parts to store or damage. There is never any physical handling of the recorded video files by the officer, and only an authorized administrator from the department can delete original files from the system. After a specified length of time, the system automatically copies recorded videos to DVDs for long-term storage.

For more information, circle no. 117 on Reader Service Card


From The Police Chief, vol. 70, no. 11, November 2003. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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