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Back to Archives | Back to September 2012 Contents 

September 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.

Los Angeles, California, Police Department Moves to Hands-Free Communication with PrymeBlu

Officers within the Los Angeles, California, Police Department (LAPD) use Bluetooth earpieces to talk hands free while on their cellphones. However, they are still required to monitor two-way radios simultaneously, which requires them to use their hands. It was not until recently that the option to use a Bluetooth with a police radio became available.

Thanks to the foresight of Officer Sean Fox, radio and communications unit leader for the LAPD incident command post of the emergency operations division, the force daily uses hands-free radio operation. One of Officer Fox’s responsibilities is to set up the radio and command posts throughout the department. In the process of conducting research at law enforcement trade shows, Fox discovered a new product that had recently been introduced by longtime radio accessories manufacturer Pryme Radio. He was happy to learn that there is a way to use a standard cellular Bluetooth earpiece with a police radio.

PrymeBlu Bluetooth Adapters are wireless adapters with Bluetooth 2.1 technology. They allow first responders to use any off-the-shelf Bluetooth wireless headset with their two-way radios. Officer Fox confirmed that the adapters are compatible with many different types of radios, including Motorola XT 5000 handheld radios, the brand that members of his department use.

“As police officers, being hands free is important, whether it be for writing a report or dealing with a suspect,” said Officer Fox. “Also, the ability to have the audio from the police radio come directly to your ears allows you to concentrate. Having control, especially in a physical situation, is vital. With a Bluetooth earpiece and adapter, you can still utilize a weapon or other tool on your belt.”

Fox had previously tried other technologies such as near-field communications, but wasn’t satisfied with the audio quality. He claims with PrymeBlu, the police radio audio is much cleaner. One of the other issues that officers typically have to deal with is the chatter of the police radio, which often interrupts when talking on the phone. Officer Fox determined that the PrymeBlu adapter, if used with a headset that supports multiple pairings, allows you to use the same Bluetooth headset with both a cell phone and two-way radio.

For information, visit

Kirkland, Washington, Police Department and iovation Bust Identity Theft and Retail Fraud Ring

A device reputation authority protecting online businesses from fraud and abuse, iovation, recently announced that it has assisted in busting a fraud ring that victimized at least 15 people and resulted in tens of thousands of dollars in fraudulent charges. The fraud ring was identified by the Kirkland, Washington, Police Department thanks to the device association capability of iovation’s ReputationManager 360 online fraud prevention solution.

“This is a unique case because it wasn’t exclusively an online or offline crime,” said Detective Adam Haas of the Kirkland Police Department Investigation Division. “Offline clues helped, but the online digital bread crumbs sniffed out by iovation were critical in tying everything together, leading to a much bigger crime ring than we originally suspected.”

The case originally began in January 2011 with a report of $5,000 in fraudulent charges via credit card at a large electronics store and two department stores. Detective Haas checked with the credit issuer, who used iovation’s ReputationManager 360 to track fraudulent credit applications to one specific computer.

ReputationManager 360 was then able to associate this same device with a second identity theft fraud victim. In fact, using a combination of multiple device-to-account associations, ReputationManager 360 helped identify more than a dozen additional victims. The Kirkland detective used this information, surveillance videos, and other offline detective work to identify the primary suspect as a male working out of various hotel rooms in concert with others. The suspect used stolen residential mail to apply for online credit and to manufacture fraudulent identification cards.

What started out as a small state case with one victim has now turned into a federal indictment with nine counts, including bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. The suspect could face many years in prison.

For information, visit

Thomas Nelson Community College Launches Online Incident Reporting Tool with Awareity

Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC) has launched a new online incident reporting platform called Threat Assessment, Incident Management, and Prevention Services (TIPS) that allows students, faculty, staff, and others on campus to confidentially report potentially harmful incidents. An award-winning suite of web-based tools developed by the privately held organization Awareity, the platform empowers individuals to anonymously report suspicious activities involving assault, weapons, illegal drug and alcohol use, harassment or intimidation, vandalism, threats of violence, suicide risk, sexual harassment, abuse, and other incidents.

“TIPS is helping the TNCC become more aware of threats and incidents on campus; campus police are ever vigilant, but if we don’t know about at-risk individuals or suspicious activities, we can’t prevent them. TIPS empowers anyone on campus and within the community to come forward and anonymously share information with us,” said TNCC Police Chief Kelvin Maxwell.

If someone has information about incidents that adversely affect campus climate or warrant concern for the safety of students, faculty, or staff, the person can access TIPS from TNCC’s website, select their campus location and anonymously report the information, Maxwell explained.

Campus Safety and Emergency Manager Garth MacDonald said once an incident is reported in TIPS, the college’s threat assessment team is notified so members can determine the appropriate actions. In addition to Maxwell and MacDonald, TNCC’s threat assessment team includes the vice president for finance and administration, the human resources manager, and the student counseling staff. General counsel for Virginia’s community colleges is included when needed. ♦

For information, visit



From The Police Chief, vol. LXXIX, no. 9, September 2012. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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