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.
Pleasanton Police Department Fights Red Light Violators with New Wireless Technology
Running red lights causes over 150,000 collisions each year in the United States, with over 130,000 people injured and approximately 1,000 people killed in these collisions. Although the monetary cost for these collisions runs into the billions of dollars annually, the greater cost is the lives that are lost and the large number of injuries that continue to occur.
Partially as a result of the devastating consequences seen with red light violations, the Pleasanton, California, Police Department (PPD) began partnering with Auspex Technologies to test new technology that makes enforcing red light violations easier and safer for its police officers.
After a successful field demonstration of Auspex’s Mobile Officer Light Enforcer (MOLE) device, the PPD decided to use grant funds to purchase four handheld devices and software to install the program on two patrol cars. Transmitting devices were then installed on the traffic control boxes controlling eight of the most collision-prone intersections in town. Although actual enforcement with the device has just recently begun, it is believed red light enforcement efforts will be significantly enhanced by this device.
One of the major potential advantages of the MOLE device is the increased level of officer safety it provides. Officers no longer need to pursue violators through busy intersections, since the device allows an officer to monitor all traffic flow from a safe distance from an intersection. Additionally, the device allows enhanced opportunities to monitor all lights in all directions without officers having to visually confirm the changing of each traffic light.
In reference to enforcing red light violations, PPD Traffic Sergeant Mike Collins stated, “The MOLE is the most effective device we have available to enforce red light running, allowing officers to monitor traffic in all directions while enhancing their own safety.”
Auspex Technologies’ new MOLE system can function with portable electronic citation systems, PDAs, and cellular phones equipped with Bluetooth technology and running on Windows Mobile, adding value to existing equipment, simplifying officers’ jobs, and reducing the number of devices that they need to carry in the field.
For more information, click here, and enter number 58.
Monroe County Enters Agreement to Collaborate on New Public Safety Communications Technologies
Harris Corporation announces an agreement with Monroe County, New York, to collaborate on the testing and development of new public safety communications technologies, including the Harris Unity XG-100, the new multiband, multimode radio that provides full-spectrum communications interoperability to public safety and government agencies.
The company has signed a memorandum of understanding with Monroe County’s Department of Public Safety, calling for the department, which procures radios for every public safety agency in Monroe County, to provide feedback and evaluation of the XG-100 as well as other Harris-developed public safety communications products.
The Harris Unity XG-100 is engineered to provide instantaneous, direct, full-spectrum communications interoperability among federal, state, and local agencies. Current radio systems for public safety are compatible only through ad hoc workaround systems often configured at the time of an emergency.
“Today’s announcement is a wonderful example of how government and the private sector can come together and forge a relationship that is not only beneficial to them, but also has an immediate impact on the taxpayers of our community,” said Maggie Brooks, Monroe County executive. “Public safety has been, and will always be, a top priority for Monroe County. Ensuring that our first responders, law enforcement, EMS, and other public safety workers are equipped with state-of-the-art technology to perform their duties is a win-win for our entire community.”
The Unity XG-100 is the first in a family of Harris radios designed to allow federal, state, and local public safety agencies to communicate more effectively. The new radio covers all portable land mobile radio frequency bands in a single radio and is compliant with the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) Project 25 (P25), a suite of standards for digital radio communications for use by federal, state, and local public safety agencies.
For more information, click here, and enter number 59.
Moducom Dispatch System Serves Consolidated E9-1-1 Center in Tennessee
In November 1997, the E9-1-1 center in Cleveland, Tennessee, merged with Bradley County’s E9-1-1 center, forming one consolidated center. During the consolidation, the Bradley County center decided to upgrade to a PC-based dispatch console system. Bradley County chose Moducom’s UltraCom IP, a cost-effective E9-1-1/radio dispatch console system. County staff found exactly what they wanted: a system that was designed to be easily upgradeable and software-based. In other words, the system was reliable—an important aspect to have when lives are on the line.
Another important feature that the Bradley County E9-1-1 center sought was ease of configuration within the system. Those involved in the bidding process for Bradley County liked Moducom’s customizable touch screens as well as the ability to configure the screens in-house. Overall, the Bradley County E9-1-1 center staff found the system to be very user-friendly.
Another feature that improved the center’s efficiency was the system’s flexibility. Staff found that they could change a fire console to a homeland security or law enforcement console with just a few button clicks. They could even change the display to a supervisor screen to view all the channels.
After using Moducom’s system for 10 years, Bradley County’s director Joe Wilson has been nothing but satisfied. When summing up his experience with Moducom, Director Wilson says, “Ten years later, it is obvious that we made the right choice when we chose Moducom; it has been a good partnership all these years.” ■
For more information, click here, and enter number 60.