Product News: Law Enforcement

Product News: Law Enforcement

by / July 31, 1996
Snoop Doggy
While the head-mounted video camera makes this pooch look silly, his job is serious intelligence gathering. According to its manufacturer, the WOLVES system (Wireless Operational Link and Video Exploration Services) can transmit high-quality audio and video data from buildings and terrain too dangerous for humans. The rig works even in low light and the microwave transmitter penetrates concrete. Dog not included.

Security Support Services, 47 Livingstone Road, Hove, East Sussex, England BN3 3WP.
Phone: +44 (0) 1273 321631
Fax: +44 (0) 1273 208898.


Happy Ending
HILLSBOROUGH, Calif. -- On Dec. 11, 1995, a nine-year-old girl was abducted by two men in a white minivan near her school. The TRAK program, a product of SocialTech Inc., was used to create a flyer from a fingernail-sized section of a class photo. The photo was blown up, put on the flyer with other information, and distributed. Bay area television stations broadcast the flyer and the child was released unharmed a few hours later.

SocialTech Inc., 1350 Bayshore Blvd. #630, Burlingame, CA 94010. Phone: 415/344-7104 Fax: 415/579-4945


New Law Enforcement Technologies
As a burglary suspect's auto sped toward a residential area the pursuing officer launched a projectile -- which stuck to the rear of the fleeing vehicle -- then backed off. A radio transmitter embedded in the projectile began emitting a homing signal allowing police to track the vehicle from a distance.

The suspect's route was mapped and a device was placed in the roadway in front of him. As his car sped across the device, it emitted an electromagnetic pulse strong enough to disrupt the auto's ignition system. The vehicle rolled to a stop.

Had the electrical pulse failed to work, mechanical strips waited in several routes the suspect might be expected to take. Traffic rolled over the strips unharmed, but if the suspect's vehicle approached, a signal would extend spikes, shredding the tires.

As an officer approached the suspect's vehicle, he was blindsided by a passenger. The two suspects struggled with the officer and managed to secure his weapon. A suspect pointed it at the officer and pulled the trigger. But nothing happened -- the weapon failed to "recognize" the suspect as its owner.

Another patrol car screeched to a halt and one suspect began to run. An officer raised a tube and fired, ensnaring the suspect in a net which brought him to the ground.

While the above scenario is fictional, all these devices are under development and may soon be employed by law enforcement. For more information:

Fleeing Vehicle Tagger:
Glenn Shell, Idaho National Engineering Lab, Lockheed Martin Idaho Technologies, P.O. Box 1625, Idaho Falls, ID 83415-2805. Phone: 208/526-4078.

Electrical Pulse Generator:
Blair Stewart, JAYCOR, 25 North Cascade, Suite 300, Colorado Springs, CO 80903. Phone: 719/577-9700.

Retractable Spiked Barrier:
Larry W. Hops, Idaho National Engineering Lab, Lockheed Martin Idaho Technologies, P.O. Box 1625, Idaho Falls, ID 83415-3805. Phone: 208/526-6870.

Smart Gun:
Doug Weiss, Sandia National Laboratories, P.O. Box 5800, Mail Stop 0537, Albuquerque, NM 87185-0537. Phone: 505/845-9134.

Disabling Net and Launcher:
Arnis Mangolds, Foster-Miller Inc., 350 Second Ave., Waltham, MA 02154. Phone: 617/890-3200.


Everybody Knows Your Faces
Finally, computer systems that recognize an honest face! The TrueFace verifier and identifier, from Miros Inc., runs on a Sun workstation and can compare a live face image with a previously recorded image and determine if they come from the same person. The system -- which can be used in lieu of passkeys, PIN numbers and other security measures -- accommodates normal variations in facial features, so you won't get locked out if you forget to shave.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts recently announced an AFDC identification/verification pilot project using a facial image recognition system from Viisage Technology.

Miros Inc., 572 Washington St. #18, Wellesley, MA 02181. Phone: 617/235-0330. Fax: 617/235-0720. Web: .

Viisage Technology, 531 Main Street, Acton, MA 01720. Phone: 508/263-8365. Fax: 508/263-3358.

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