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Back to Archives | Back to May 2012 Contents 

May 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.

Traffic Accident Reconstructionists Use Topcon for Long-Range Crash Scene Work

Reflectorless total stations are especially useful for lengthy crash scenes. This is why Kevin Bryce, a partner and trained crash reconstructionist with Bryce, Williams, and Associates Traffic Accident Reconstruction in Kildare, Texas, uses Topcon GPT-3005 long-range (LW) wireless and prismless total station. Bryce noted that one of the station’s most compelling attributes is “the ability to take measurements in the roadway without getting directly in the roadway.”

Bryce uses one of the Topcon 3000LW series, working in both reflector and reflectorless modes. The Topcon GPT-3005LW has a new long-range reflectorless (nonprism) mode for long-mode or short-mode application on any surface. It also has a large display on both sides for more convenient field readouts; an onboard data collector; an infrared beam for table, sharp distance measurement; and a memory board able to store up to 24,000 data points. Measured points are displayed in real time to assure no evidence is missed.

If Bryce cannot be in the roadway to measure—as is often the case—or if there is limited access to the roadway, he uses the reflectorless option on his total station. He cites one 1,500-foot crash scene he and his partner mapped near Weslaco, Texas, that occurred on an overpass of a multilane highway. The crash involved an 18-wheel truck and a passenger car, whereby upon impact, the car ended up under the truck’s trailer and then was dragged to its final rest.

“You could not see from one end [of the scene] to the other,” Bryce said. “The ability to set up the total station, take measurements, and then move to a new location and continue measuring without getting in the roadway was critical to being able to retrieve the evidence.”

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Dispatch and Tracking Solutions Software Improves Towing System for the Fresno, California, Police Department

The Fresno, California, Police Department is now utilizing end-to-end vehicle tow management software offered by Dispatch and Tracking Solutions (DTS).

“We implemented ne w software that will allow us from the minute the officer calls for the tow to start tracking that vehicle,” said Fresno Captain Andy Hall. “Drivers can also log onto to find their vehicle. The Fresno Police Department impounds more than 20,000 vehicles each year, so we researched every option out there. With that said, we are very pleased with DTS and the benefits.”

The Law Enforcement Tow System (LETS) from DTS is a powerful, web-hosted application focused on automating the way agencies summon, oversee, audit, and manage tow requests. Law enforcement receives a real-time view into what is happening currently and what happened in the past.

Operation and administrative resources are now able to leverage low coordination efforts and securely share information with interagency departments and contract tow providers.

LETS key benefits include reduced officer wait time, improved public service, reduced dispatch call time, increased fee collections, and reduced department liability.

Agencies gain the ability to optimize efficiency with direct computer-aided dispatch integration, voiceless call routing, and powerful web-based reporting tools. Both traffic administration and operations can continually monitor tow provider locations, vehicle statuses, and estimated times of arrival. Direct access to tow charges provides online, on-demand billing and administration fee collection, eliminating manual entry.

Jurisdictions can realize new revenue through keeping a part of the user fee to recoup administrative costs. Most DTS customers fund the service through a user fee on each towed vehicle paid for by the vehicle owner, the tow operator, or the jurisdiction. Some jurisdictions opt to pay a flat monthly or annual fee.

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G4S Technology Selected to Upgrade Security at Tampa, Florida, International Airport

G4S Technology has been selected to upgrade security at the Tampa, Florida, International Airport. The company will provide the airport with a solution to upgrade the current closed-circuit television system (CCTV) in the terminals, in security check points, and in baggage screening areas. In addition, the company will be installing new cameras and emergency phones in the parking garage structures. A new video management system also will be deployed throughout the facility, with a new video wall in the airport police command center.

In addition to upgrading the CCTV system, the company also will be improving the existing access control with new workstations and servers. G4S Technology will perform all engineering, deployment, project management, and testing.

Tampa International Airport is owned, operated, and governed by the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority in Tampa, Florida. The airport averages 225 daily aircraft departures. It also operates three regional/executive airports in addition to Tampa International. Over the last 40 years, Tampa International Airport has grown to become one of the preeminent airports in the world. To remain a leader in the aviation industry, the airport continues to upgrade its infrastructure.

“Upgrading the airport access control and CCTV systems are important projects for us, and we are very excited about our partnership with G4S Technology,” said Brian D. Rumble, Tampa International Airport deputy director of operations/security administration. “With the completion of this project, we will ensure that Tampa International Airport continues to remain in the forefront of technology and customer service.” ■

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From The Police Chief, vol. LXXIX, no. 5, May 2012. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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