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Advances & 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.

Perkins+Will Helps Los Angeles Police Department Realize Vision for Rampart Station

When the Los Angeles, California, Police Department (LAPD) decided to modernize its service to the Rampart community, it developed a clear vision of what its new station should offer its personnel as well as the general public—a vision it was unwilling to compromise.

The LAPD chose Perkins+Will to design the Rampart station due to a shared understanding of the vision for the station. The primary design goals were identified as improving functionality and efficiency. Because the area is one of the most densely populated parts of the United States, it was important to design the station in such a fashion to maximize usable space. At the same time, the design had to allow the preservation of the site’s natural landscape to meet the department’s goal of welcoming the community without compromising the security of the building.

Now completed, the new Rampart Police Station is approximately 57,000 square feet. The project also included a 237-car parking structure, a four-pump fueling station, a car wash, and a six-bay garage. The station was one of six new police stations constructed under the Public Safety Bond Program. Sergeant Patrick McAree, the LAPD’s program manager for the bond program, worked closely with Perkins+Will during the planning, design, and construction of the building. He said of the process, “We have 300 people working in a police station, between the officers, sergeants, and detectives. In planning I told Perkins+Will if I can increase everybody’s work performance by 10 percent through building design, it would be like adding 30 people. I really feel the design accomplished this goal.”

The LAPD was quite satisfied with the results of the project. Sergeant McAree commented, “We can see improvement in the morale of our officers, who are working in places with natural lighting. We’ve provided better equipment, more spacious rooms, and informal meeting areas. Through working with Perkins+Will we’ve provided a modern working environment.”

For more information, circle no. 61 on the Reader Service Card, or enter the number at .

Colorado Police Department Fights Tailgating with Laser Detection Systems

Driving too closely behind another vehicle has become a worrisome traffic hazard, and there are no signs that it is losing momentum. To stem this trend, the Golden, Colorado, Police Department (GPD) has added a laser system that detects distance between cars (DBC)—or, more specifically, “front-to-front” bumper separation between two vehicles—from Laser Technology, Inc. (LTI) of Centennial, Colorado.

The GPD has been using five of LTI’s Ultra-Lyte 200 LR laser systems since 1992 for speed detection. An additional laser system incorporating the DBC technology was recently purchased. When using the DBC mode, an officer aims the UltraLyte speed laser at the lead vehicle and takes the first measurement. The first vehicle’s speed is displayed on the laser’s LCD screen. The device then displays a number “2,” signifying that it is ready to measure the second (trailing) vehicle. Once the second measurement is recorded, this speed is displayed along with the time between vehicles in seconds. An edit button on the laser can then be pressed to show the distance between the two vehicles.

So far, the GPD reports that the DBC laser system is being well received by both traffic officers and offending drivers. And, the department reports, the DBC system is having some impact on getting drivers to change their habits.

GPD Officer Jeff Kreutzer explained, “When you start using this technology, you really become more acutely aware of specific distances. Within a half-day of working with DBC, I got to the point where I could visually estimate the time interval between cars and be extremely accurate. [LTI’s DBC laser system] is a confirmation of what’ve known all these years about drivers following too closely, but now we have a way to control it.”

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Sorenson Forensics to Provide Validation Services for Western Africa’s First Forensic DNA Laboratory

Sorenson Forensics has been awarded a contract by the Center for Diagnostics and Research in Molecular Medicine, a private clinical laboratory in Dakar, Republic of Senegal, that has the exclusive contract to provide forensic DNA testing and analysis for the Senegalese government.

Under the contract, Sorenson Forensics will assist the center in establishing what will be the first forensic DNA laboratory in western Africa and will provide ongoing support and laboratory validation—a specialized set of procedures performed at regular intervals in all biological laboratories to ensure that equipment and protocols meet the latest industry standards.

“We are very happy to be working with one of America’s leading forensic DNA companies,” said Dr. Cheikh Sy, director of the Center for Diagnostics and Research in Molecular Medicine. “Our forensic DNA project in Dakar is emblematic of the great progress Senegal is making economically and scientifically.”

Sorenson Forensics is currently training two groups of laboratory scientists from Senegal and technicians at its newly expanded laboratories. Team members will spend a total of five months in Dakar to assist in establishing laboratory processes and procedures and then will provide support for the following year. ■

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From The Police Chief, vol. LXXVI, no. 2, February 2009. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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