Be aware of cop tech

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Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2017 6:06 pm

Be aware of cop tech

Post by neighbor » Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:54 pm ... s-all-safe

Cameras and radar
Much of what’s happening in a patrol car is coordinated and happening automatically. The radar gun mounted on the driver’s side of officer Giles’ patrol car is always on and can take readings from both oncoming traffic and from cars behind him. Audio and visual alerts notify the officer of the fastest speed among oncoming vehicles, for example, and officers then visually identify the speeder from the cars approaching.

A radar gun gives a readout.
The dashcam is mounted above the dash near the rearview mirror and records automatically whenever an officer turns on his overhead lights. The camera is running on a constant loop and saves recordings 30 seconds before the lights are turned on. This allows police to record drunk driving violations and demonstrate why the vehicle was pulled over.

The dashcam is integrated with the laptop in the patrol car, and the recording is saved in both places and can later be accessed by the officer to view when completing reports of the incident. Officer Giles showed me an example of an arrest from the night prior on the dashcam itself.

When the stop is completed, officer Giles can then dispose of the call from the dashcam, which both ends the recording and updates the call status on the laptop. The officer uses a drop-down menu on the dashcam to notate whether the stop ended in a citation, arrest or warning. With these integrated technologies, an officer does not have to make multiple entries when beginning or ending a call or traffic stop.

When a citation is issued, it is printed on a Brother thermal printer, decreasing the chance of error and saving the officer from having to handwrite the ticket. Information gathered from license plate and driver’s license searches, as well as the location of the stop, auto populates into the ticket form.

The Orem Police Department also issues officers body cameras that are running, along with the dashcam and record audio from a body mounted microphone. Both dashcam and bodycam are recording different views of an event. Sound is recorded both inside and outside of the patrol car as officers move about.

Use of drones by police in Idaho are on the rise
Scenarios in which police use drones for investigations keep going up and up.
The Spillman Technologies program not only handles dispatch of calls and communication between officers, but allows for officers to link with state and national databases to search for license plate and driver’s license information for those they contact.

A plate number can be entered and the computer will return information about the registration and insurance status of the vehicle and who the registered owner is. Officer Giles explained that license plates are in public view and not protected by privacy laws. Officers can run any plate number in view and often do so when stopped at traffic lights.

The more knowledge an officer has about both the stopped vehicle and the driver, the safer the officer is. While it is legal for an officer to find out the name of a registered owner, it is illegal for them to run any information about the driver without probable cause.

In more than one case during my shift with officer Giles, it was evident that the registered owner wasn’t the one driving the car. While not a crime, it alerts an officer to potential circumstances that could be investigated if a traffic stop were warranted.

Driver’s license information is protected by privacy laws. Once a vehicle has been stopped and there is probable cause to obtain their license, then the officer can enter the license number in the Spillman system and obtain information about a person’s criminal history or outstanding warrants. It is also possible to enter names along with birth dates and get driver’s license and vehicle registration information.

Perhaps the single biggest surprise of all during the evening I spent with officer Giles was the number of people driving with expired plates or plates not matching the car they were registered to. There were many people driving without insurance.

We encountered one driver with an expired out-of-state license and expired Utah plates, which was not evident until officer Giles ran the number found on the registration “year” sticker on the plate. That sticker matches a particular vehicle in the same way a license plate does.

Posts: 495
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2017 6:06 pm

Re: Be aware of cop tech

Post by neighbor » Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:55 pm

Idaho State Police, which is about a year into its program of using unmanned aircraft to get birds-eye views of crash and crime scenes, has six drones and 13 pilots throughout the state, according to the Coeur d'Alene Press.

"Our missions to fly have started to pick up," ISP Capt. John Ganske said during a demonstration last week at the agency's District 1 office in Coeur d'Alene.

"We're averaging about three per month (statewide). As we have good results, we'll be using them even more."

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