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Back to Archives | Back to February 2012 Contents 

February 2012

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.

Tiffin, Ohio, Police Department Upgrades to Sentinel
Airflow Lockers

Since 1863, the Tiffin, Ohio, Police Department has been protecting and serving its local community, and with a growing department and outdated lockers, changes needed to be made. Tiffin’s Police Department was in need of an upgrade that would provide a professional look and secure personal storage, as well as allow the department to maintain an organized locker room. Lieutenant Fred Stevens took on the task to locate a company that could provide this upgrade.

The department’s now former locker room consisted of wooden lockers more than 60 years old. As the department grew over the years, staff added metal lockers to accommodate additional officers. Stevens described the lockers in one word: Antiquated. “It was an old and worn-out look,” he said.

Tiffin Metal Products presented Stevens with Sentinel Airflow Lockers that feature perforations throughout the unit to allow fresh air in, eliminating moisture and odor. These lockers provide shelves, hanging bars for uniforms, and lockable components within each unit. They allow officers to store their gear in secure spaces while giving the locker room the professional feel Stevens and his colleagues desired.

In March 2011, the department’s old lockers were removed and replaced with Sentinel Airflow Lockers. For many months following the locker installation, Stevens received comments from officers, thanking him for taking on this project.

“Although no one from the public will notice the improvement, it is very much a psychological motivator to start your shift by walking into a locker room and seeing brand new, spacious, well-built lockers,” Stevens said. “It helps start that professional mind-set before the shift even begins. I am a firm believer that your mood can be set by your working conditions.”

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Edwardsville, Illinois, Benefits from Crimestar Community Policing Module

As police departments struggle with budgets, officers must work smarter to sustain and maximize their community policing efforts. Helping them to do so is a records management software (RMS) program from Crimestar Corp. called Crimestar RMS. The software’s community policing module has proven effective for helping communities and officers to work closely together to identify, track, and resolve problems.

The module’s function is to identify a problem, assign the problem a common name, and track the problem from the date it was identified. The module’s user can describe specific details of a problem and specify a coordinator and a strategy to be deployed. The module enables tracking of each activity performed in conjunction with the defined strategy.

“Our citizens inform us of problems they’ve identified, and we react to this in the form of problem-oriented policing,” said Edwardsville, Illinois, Sergeant Tim Gallion.

Officers working any beat in Edwardsville can query problems in neighborhoods within the Crimestar RMS community policing module to view actions taken to that point. “They can know what the problems are, what the plan of attack is, and who to talk to,” said Sergeant Gallion.

The module allows the user to track officers’ actions in a given neighborhood.

“The officer assigned to that particular beat can make an entry into the community policing module, which identifies the address, the possible suspect vehicles, and maybe even the possible suspects,” said Sergeant Gallion. This enables other officers who patrol the beat on different shifts to view prior report entries and make an entry into the module each time they check the area for this specific problem.

For more information, visit

Hampshire, United Kingdom, Constabulary Officers Lead the Way Using BlueCheck II—3M Cogent’s MobileID Technology

Agencies may seek devices that can enable faster identification of individuals, saving public and office time and also helping to increase the number of offenders who are identified and brought to justice. This is what leaders at the Hampshire, United Kingdom, Constabulary needed when they chose to use 3M Cogent’s BlueCheck II.

BlueCheck II is designed to be the lightest mobile identification technology in the industry. It remotely transfers secured, captured fingerprint data via Bluetooths and BlackBerry smartphones. With an FBI-certified, 500-pixels-per-inch optical sensor, BlueCheck II enables users to capture and perform mobile fingerprint identification.

During the six-week period from July 3, 2011, to August 15, 2011, officers from Hampshire and from the Isle of Wight used their BlueCheck II devices on 434 occasions, with the Greater Manchester police and the Essex police forces using their devices on more than 300 occasions.

“It is extremely pleasing to hear from the National Policing Improvement Agency that our officers are trained in using the new kit and are putting it to good use in the communities they serve, setting the standards that other forces will be looking to match,” said Hampshire Constabulary Chief Inspector Cleave Faulkner.

3M Cogent’s MobileID technology also is deployed across the United States. Law enforcement professionals in California, Texas, and Michigan, among other states, are finding it useful as an identification tool. ■

For more information, visit

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From The Police Chief, vol. LXXIX, no. 2, February 2012. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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