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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.

Kongsberg Underwater Sonar Technologies Protect California County Police Divers

A recent search and recovery of a private plane from a murky California lake shows how underwater sonar technologies protect police divers and make police underwater operations much more productive.

“The safety of police dive teams is the top priority for any underwater search, and these often occur in murky or turbulent waters where you can’t see even your hand or a jagged piece of metal debris right in front of you,” said Sergeant Jeff Morgan, commander of the San Bernardino County, California, Sheriff’s Department Dive Rescue Team. “Advanced sonar technologies enable the dive operation manager to know exactly what is down there, pinpoint its location for a quick recovery, and make the dive much more efficient and safe for the divers. It’s a very productive technology.”

When a private plane crashed into the Big Bear Lake, outside San Bernardino, right in front of eyewitnesses on June 23, 2008, Morgan and his team knew exactly where to look—or so they thought. Unknown to them, once the plane hit the water, its underwater momentum continued forward another 80 yards from the point of entry. Given that underwater visibility was only about six inches, it might have taken days to find the wreckage. However, by using the Kongsberg MS 1000 scanning sonar unit first, the team was able to spot the plane in its true resting location immediately, bringing it up within three hours of first spotting it on the sonar.

“There’s no question the Kongsberg sonar unit saved us countless hours of frustration trying to find that plane,” said Morgan. “Once we located it, we were able to drop a line down to the plane and send a diver straight to the plane to check for fuel leakage and put on the lift bags. What would have been a long, expensive operation was completed within three hours.”

For more information, click here, and enter number 100.

Maryland County Deploys In Motion Technology to Connect and Manage Sheriff’s and EMS Fleets

In Motion Technology has announced that the Queen Anne’s County, Maryland, Department of Emergency Services and Office of the Sheriff have selected In Motion Technology’s solution for their fleets of EMS and sheriff’s vehicles.

In Motion Technology’s end-to-end solution is designed to provide seamless, reliable communications and real-time information from the field. The onBoard Mobile Gateway turns emergency vehicles into mobile wireless hotspots, enabling all on-board devices—including laptops, video cameras, electrocardiograms, and other devices—to connect seamlessly. The onBoard Mobility Manager gathers and analyzes information from Gateway-equipped vehicles to enable headquarters staff to track vehicles, monitor engine diagnostics, and troubleshoot onboard data systems, all on a single, Web-based virtual dashboard. The Department of Emergency Services and the Office of the Sheriff plan to install on Board Mobile Gateways throughout their fleets of ambulances and patrol cars.

For the Office of the Sheriff, the onBoard Mobile Gateway will allow video cameras to be used in and around vehicles to document evidence. Deputies will be free to file reports and send e-mail without being tethered to the patrol car. And, in the future, the Office of the Sheriff plans to use the Gateway to deploy electronic ticketing and other technologies to improve officer safety and productivity.

“Our sheriff’s deputies are already seeing significant improvements in communications in the field,” said Corporal Sean Hampton of the Office of the Sheriff. “But we are only scratching the surface of how this technology will enable us to deploy the latest law enforcement tools to improve operations and enhance our ability to protect the public.”

For more information, click here, and enter number 101.

Campus Safety at Minnesota College Gets Big Boost from 360° Stay Safe

Without the right information and prevention, college and university students are increasingly at risk at a time when violent crime, school shootings, and Internet stalking are on the rise.

A new crime prevention training program that includes video content and training materials, Stay Safe at College, may be the perfect tool to teach and engage college and university students on personal safety issues. Introduced by 360° Stay Safe, this tool is geared specifically for today’s millennial generation.

“The 360° Stay Safe at College video uses current students and subject matter experts, offers vignettes, and encourages community policing,” said Raymond Thrower, director of public safety at Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, Minnesota, and the immediate past president for the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA).

“Like many colleges, we wanted an up-to-date program that helps officers get the message across in less time,” said Thrower. “Gustavus Adolphus is excited about the numerous opportunities to use 360° Stay Safe’s comprehensive and flexible program throughout the year.”

Available in two formats, DVD-only or site license plus DVD—with an optional facilitator’s guide and PowerPoint supplement—Stay Safe at College is segmented into seven timely topics: Protect Your Possessions and Identity, Student Assaults, Controlling Behavior, Stalking, Everyday Safety, Common-Sense Defense (including campus shootings), and Safe Travel.

“As a part of our Community Orientated Policing Program, officers are assigned to specific resident halls,” Thrower said. “The 360° Stay Safe package allows officers to—without a lot of preparation—choose a specific or relevant topic, show the video, then continue to other sections of the presentation by using the chapter-specific PowerPoint and facilitator’s guide.”

“Additionally, we are adding the 360° Stay Safe at College video series to our campus crime prevention Web site so community members can watch it anytime—an important consideration given today’s Web-savvy, on-the-go students.” ■

For more information, click here, and enter number 102.



From The Police Chief, vol. LXXVI, no. 4, April 2009. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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