SHOT Show 2008

A report for the forensic and technical investigator

     After the events of September 11, 2001, small- to large-size agencies invested in mobile command posts, equipped with communications, conferencing capabilities, and other necessities for major incidents. Despite this increase, agencies still need versatile shelter that can be adapted to many purposes, whether at a crime scene as officials excavate a gravesite, at a hostage situation as tactical teams await response, or at a major incident for logistics storage.

     DHS Technologies' Orangeburg, New York, subsidiary, C.A.M.P. Technologies, has introduced the RTV, an easily erected, sturdy and adaptable tent system in a trailer. This is not a pop-up camper; it is a unit capable of being trailed by vehicles with a 250-pound towing capacity. The unit contains a complete, framed tent, made of heavy vinyl cloth, a generator, LP supply, small stove, water supply, sink and refrigerator. An environmental control system, housed in a second trailer, is available as an option.

     This versatile system is relatively inexpensive and comes in three basic sizes, ranging from an approximately 13-foot by 10-foot tent to a 13-foot by 28-foot model. The unit can be expanded by joining additional sections. It can operate off road, wherever a tow vehicle can go, and takes two people approximately 15 minutes to set up.

     DHS also offers, through its Reeves EMS LLC group in Frederick, Maryland, an equipped command post trailer, based upon an approximately 15-foot by 18-foot tent. It is equipped with work tables for setting up radio and computer consoles, has an audio/visual LCD display installed in its tailgate, and comes with a complete communications suite. This unit may be equipped with other supplies, such as a water system and sink, refrigerator and larger generators.

Eickhorn USA LLC

     Despite its importance in today's war on terrorism, the bomb disposal discipline predominantly uses tools developed for other fields. Thus a knife developed as a rescue knife for military, fire and tactical service can be a great tool for the bomb technician.

     Eickhorn's SARD Search and Rescue Device is one such multi-purpose tool. Designed as a durable, plastic-handled folding tactical knife with a half-serrated blade, wire cutter and awl, it is easily used by the bomb technician. The tool's cuff cutter, being a guillotine-type action and using a razor-type blade, easily doubles as a detonating cord and shock tube cutter. The awl makes a wonderful powder punch. Additionally, the knife from this Sante Fe, New Mexico, manufacturer incorporates a strong locking system and has a belt clip molded into it. The device also features a built-in lubricant reservoir to provide a convenient method of keeping the hinge oiled and smooth acting.

Opti-Logic Corporation

     A rangefinder is a valuable tool for crime scene investigators, snipers or other officials needing accurate distance measurement. Yet many rangefinders are unduly expensive and have a less-than-friendly learning curve. Opti-Logic's laser rangefinders are none of these things. Depending on model, these rangefinders will measure a maximum distance of up to 1,000 yards, with accuracy from +/- 1 meter to +/- .1 meter, and they are comparatively inexpensive when compared to other rangefinder offerings.

     Opti-Logic rangefinders operate very simply: The user simply looks through the rangefinder at the target, pushes the top button and a red dot appears in the sight. He then places the red dot on the target, releases the button and the distance appears in the selected format (metric or English).


     Energizer's Tactical Series of lights has been expanded to include the Hard Case Tactical 2AA, the latest tactical light from this St. Louis, Missouri, manufacturer. Previous models were small, powerful LED handhelds, based upon aluminum bodies. This unit differs in many ways. Designed along military lines, it features a head that rotates 125 degrees, allowing it to be worn on clothing with its attached clip. Or, the head can be rotated so the light can be used as a handheld lamp.

     In addition to a powerful white LED, the unit incorporates a red, blue and an infrared LED. While far from the power of a typical forensic light source, including these light sources provides investigators with a tool for search or screening. In the absence of a greater light source, the tool also can be used (albeit with lengthy shutter times) to photograph fingerprints and other evidence.

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