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Back to Archives | Back to August 2011 Contents 

August 2011

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.

Videofied Used for Copper Thief Detection in Multiple Agencies and Cities

Agencies can catch copper thieves in the act with Videofied, a cordless and wireless video intrusion alarm that is less expensive than traditional closed-circuit television systems. Videofied is currently protecting the substations of more than 45 utilities, securing many of the United States’ cell towers, and defending construction sites against copper thieves. The apple-sized MotionViewer uses an infrared sensor to detect intruders and then sends a 10-second video clip of the alarm over the cell network for immediate review by monitoring personnel filtering false alarms. When the monitoring personnel confirm that an intruder is present, police are dispatched to crimes in progress. The system operates up to four years on a set of batteries, and, because there are no wires or power cables involved, installation is rapid and inexpensive.

“The MotionViewers proved invaluable to the investigation and the successful clearance of a series of metal theft cases that occurred in the city,” said Lenn Carter, commander, Criminal Investigations Bureau, Denton, Texas, Police Department. “One of the cases was particularly irksome to the police department because it involved repeated thefts from our department’s firearm range. Within days of installing this system, the suspect was caught on video, police dispatch was notified about the potential intruder, and the intruder was arrested while he was still on the scene.”

Executive Deputy Chief Craig Schwartz of the Detroit, Michigan, Public Schools Police Department, experienced similar success. “I have one officer that has made more than 150 arrests over the past two years using this system, protecting schools from the onslaught of copper theft,” he said.

And Major Eddie Levins of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina, Police Department has updated the agency’s alarm response policy to give high priority to video alarms because they make more arrests.

For more information, visit

Envisage Technologies, Indiana Department of Homeland Security Partner to Facilitate Readiness Measurement

Envisage Technologies and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) are implementing the third phase of a statewide pervasive readiness strategy. Envisage will expand the Acadis Readiness Suite to include authoritative certification of vital emergency response providers and critical resources. The project is supported by federal Department of Homeland Security grants.

Currently, the Acadis Readiness Suite certifies emergency response personnel across the state of Indiana. Envisage is customizing and expanding the Acadis Readiness Suite to automate the paper-based data collection and validation processes for thousands of personnel, emergency medical services (EMS) providers, and vehicles. These enhancements are intended to put the state of Indiana in a position to more accurately assess resource needs and respond with heightened agility during an emergency.

“This is an exciting next step for a more efficient system for the ongoing certification needs of our emergency responders in Indiana,” said Jason D. Hutchens, director of planning and assessment for IDHS. “Automating our provider and resource certification process saves us significant time and money and also helps us better serve our first responders. Additionally, this is another crucial step in providing vital response capability information, including which personnel, EMS providers, and vehicles are certified as ready for deployment in the case of emergency.”

In 2005, the state of Indiana consolidated all of its emergency management and homeland security efforts into one department by creating the IDHS. The four divisions of the IDHS are planning, training, emergency response, and fire and building safety. These divisions intertwine to accomplish the central mission of IDHS: safeguarding the lives and the property of the citizens of Indiana. The IDHS training division provides or coordinates training, continuing education, and exercises for the state’s public safety practitioners. The division’s associates currently provide training in emergency management, emergency medical, fire services, and hazardous materials.

For more information, visit

Guelph, Ontario, Canada, Police Service and Accident Support Services International Open Collision Reporting Centre

The Guelph Police Service and Accident Support Services International Ltd. (ASSI), facilitators of collision reporting, announce the opening of the Guelph Collision Reporting Centre in Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

The Guelph Collision Reporting Centre provides enhanced value to the public in the reporting of vehicle collisions. The one-on-one interview process simplifies the reporting process and adds value to the customer service aspect. As a result, police and insurers have real-time access to collision data and reports through ASSI’s
Microsoft award-winning Collision Reporting and Occurrence Management System. In addition, ASSI staff complete the data entry for all official reports, capturing the information for analysis and focused policing initiatives. Citizens now have the convenience of a safe location where they can complete their reports, while police continue to investigate collisions at scenes that involve injuries, suspected criminal activities, or damage to private property.

Said Guelph Police Service Chief Rob Davis on the Collision Reporting Centre, “This is an excellent example of a partnership that will provide enhanced service to the community while allowing police to redeploy resources to higher priority needs. In these challenging times of doing more with less, partnerships such as this exemplify the benefits of public and private sector partners working together, and we look forward to this opportunity.”

The goal of ASSI is to facilitate an active partnership between the police and insurers in postaccident care by providing knowledgeable advice and assistance to accident victims with empathy, integrity, and availability. This results in increased convenience for the public as well as greater road safety. Supporting insurers fund the program; therefore, there is no cost to the police or the public for these additional services. ■

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From The Police Chief, vol. LXXVIII, no. 8, August 2011. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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