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.
Barix IP Audience Surveillance Solutions Reduce Donation Thefts at Goodwill Industries Stores
Barix AG is helping Goodwill Industries reduce theft and vandalism at its stores by adding voice to its existing video surveillance systems. The security team reports a 99 percent donation retention since installing Barix two-way Internet protocol (IP) audio and monitoring solutions at three locations, with plans to roll out the technology across all 15 regional stores. The nonprofit stores regularly accept donations at all locations. The company has long used a closed-circuit television network to monitor and record visitors as they drop off donations at store exteriors—and to capture evidence of criminal activity. Goodwill recently began looking at ways to communicate directly with visitors, when necessary.
“We have always done live video monitoring for after-hours donations at our stores but have experienced a lot of theft over the past year,” said Chris Ryter, loss prevention and safety manager for Goodwill Industries of East Texas. “I had this idea that the thefts would stop or subside if we could communicate with subjects, let them know they are being recorded, and warn them to leave the property before we call the police. And we have had a significant reduction in theft and vandalism since adding Barix.”
Ryter was looking for an IP-based audio solution that could complement his closed-circuit television system and operate independently with low overhead costs. The solution also had to offer centralized monitoring, simple installation, and a quick learning curve with overall ease of use. He opted for Barix Annuncicom 200 two-way IP audio devices for public address, and Barix ICGraph software for centralized remote device control and location monitoring.
Ryter confirms that he has been “green-lighted” to expand the solution to more stores and potentially to administration and warehouse buildings as needed. He also is looking into how to utilize the return channel of the system for audio recording in compliance with federal laws.
For information, visit http://www.barix.com.
PureForge Introduces Atomic-Forged Brake Rotor for Law Enforcement Vehicles
PureForge announces a wear-resistant automobile brake rotor, with an insurance-backed warranty, engineered to outlast the service life of fleet vehicles. The first of PureForge’s automobile brake rotor line fits Ford Crown Victoria police cruisers. Additional makes and models—including for the Dodge Charger, the Ford Interceptor, the Chevrolet Caprice, and the Chevrolet Tahoe—are planned for release early this year.
As with PureForge brake rotors for law enforcement motorcycle fleets, the atomic-forged automotive brake rotors are designed to deliver high performance and safety while braking under extreme conditions, mitigating brake fade, and reducing toxic brake dust pollution.
PureForge selected law enforcement as its first marketplace. Operators of these fleets have embraced PureForge brakes, and the demand for brakes for the Crown Victoria has been continuously accelerating since PureForge announced the product’s availability. Preorders from existing law enforcement fleet customers fulfilled PureForge’s early production output scheduled for the new automotive brakes.
“The Escondido, California, Police Department has outfitted its entire motorcycle fleet with PureForge brakes, and [we are] evaluating the Crown Victoria brake rotors,” said Joe Goulart, Escondido Police Department fleet maintenance supervisor. “The safety of our officers is our paramount concern, and we are confident PureForge offers uncompromising safety and performance at 20 percent savings to our department.”
For information, visit http://www.pureforge.com.
Nebraska Embraces Modern Communications with Statewide Interoperable Trunking Network
Nebraska, situated in the middle of the United States, is a state of vast, often rugged territory ranging from sand hills in the west to farmland and highly populated urban areas on the eastern edge. It is a state subject to extreme weather conditions year-round. When all of this is combined with aging radio system infrastructure and equipment, it raises more than a handful of issues.
Unpredictable radio coverage not only placed employees at risk in the field, but also constituted a threat to public safety and hindered the ability of the Nebraska State Patrol and Nebraska Public Power District to carry out their essential services.
“It’s hard to cover a state with 77,000 square miles, and the previous systems didn’t do that great of a job with it,” said Mike Jeffres, public safety systems manager in the state’s Office of the Chief Information Officer.
Nebraska officials first identified the need for an upgrade in communications in the late 1990s, but a variety of factors prevented action. Then, in 2004, the state organized a multiagency task force and launched a formal initiative to implement a statewide wireless radio network for first responders, referred to as the Statewide Radio System (SRS).
“The state of Nebraska had taken a strong stance on collaboration and aggregation of services we provide to citizens,” said Brenda Decker, Nebraska’s chief information officer. “Whether it was web services or connection to departments in other areas of the state, we had to look at a network that would be supportive of all.”
The vetting process led to the selection of a Motorola VHF ASTRO 25 statewide trunking system. With the new system in place, Nebraska is realizing compatibility, clarity, and cost savings.
“By moving to the Motorola-based digital radio system, first off, we’re making leaps-and-bounds advances in technology,” said State Patrol Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Schwarten. ♦
For information, visit http://www.motorolasolutions.com.