"Beautiful! beautiful! The old guaiacum test was very clumsy and uncertain. So is the microscopic examination for blood corpuscles. The latter is valueless if the stains are a few hours old. Now, this appears to act as well whether the blood is old or new. Had this test been invented, there are hundreds of men now walking the earth who would long ago have paid the penalty of their crimes."
"Indeed!" I murmured.
"Criminal cases are continually hinging upon that one point. A man is suspected of a crime months perhaps after it has been committed. His linen or clothes are examined and brownish stains discovered upon them. Are they blood stains, or mud stains, or rust stains, or fruit stains, or what are they? That is a question which has puzzled many an expert, and why? Because there was no reliable test. Now we have the Sherlock Holmes's test, and there will no longer be any difficulty."
-- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet
While Doyle's Holmes is universally acknowledged as a master of the powers of observation and deduction, it is often forgotten that he was a also an early proponent -- albeit a literary one -- of the application of technology to law enforcement. Modern law enforcement agencies are following in Holmes' footsteps as they attempt to integrate exciting new technologies into the world of law enforcement. Technology enhances intelligence, analysis, communications and administration operations.
Technology companies, research labs, etc., have paid attention to these realities and the result has been that defense technologies are being converted for law enforcement uses to fight crime. A number of such products are presented here.
If You Got No Intelligence, You Ain't Very Smart
Even Holmes' vaunted powers of deduction would be useless without accurate and abundant intelligence. Holmes utilized his Baker Street Irregulars to scour the streets of London for clues. Modern technology has provided law enforcement with new tools to gather information.
Vehicles and Cargo Inspection
CargoSearch allows rapid inspection and detection of contraband and drugs hidden in large vehicles. It is a nondestructive X-ray detection system that inspects trucks, cars, railroad cars and sea containers. American Science and Engineering's patented Z Backscatter technology combined with transmission X-rays provides outstanding detection of illegal drugs and other contraband hidden in false walls, in the structure of the vehicles, or in the cargo itself.
The system provides inspection officials the ability to verify cargo manifests, making CargoSearch invaluable in situations where the smuggled items are not illegal or dangerous per se, but do have significant financial or social value.
CargoSearch is presently operating at the ports of entry in Otay Mesa and Calexico, Calif., and Pharr and Ysletta, Texas.
Additional information is available by contacting American Science and Engineering at 978/262-8700.
Covert Vehicle Tracking
Pro Trak-GPS is a vehicle-tracking system that uses the Global Positioning System (GPS). The longitude, latitude, Unit ID and other GPS information are transmitted via an AMPS cellular modem to a host computer or control center for display on a regional map.
The Pro Trak-GPS consists of a GPS receiver and cellular modem fastened to the target vehicle with wire ties or bolts. A GPS "puck" antenna attaches with a magnet to the underside of the bumper cover and a miniature magnet-mount cellular antenna fastens to the frame.
Power is supplied by a direct connection to the vehicle's power or by a field-replaceable battery pack that powers the system for approximately five days.
The system can be accessed at the user's office via the Pro Trak-GPS host software package. The location of the target is displayed on a digital map of your area.