SHOT Show 2008

A report for the forensic and technical investigator

La Crosse Technology USA

     Command posts, bomb trucks, SWAT vehicles, mobile crime lab — these and larger response vehicles are now populating law enforcement motor pools. Most are well equipped with the tools of the trade, communications technology and computers. Yet few have integrated a weather station among the offerings.

     In hazmat situations, the safety of all may depend upon current and accurate wind information. For SWAT, wind information is important to both grenadiers and snipers to ensure accurate shot placement. At the crime scene, being able to record ambient conditions on arrival may later have bearing on an investigation or prosecution. La Crosse's WS-1612AL-IT Weather Station provides complete local weather collection in a package easily used with a mobile unit.

     The station from this La Crosse, Wisconsin, company consists of two components: a digital display and a wirelessly reporting collection unit. The unit will collect information on temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, rain accumulation, and wind speed or direction. The 10-inch by 6-inch, 1.25-inch-thick, framed LCD display will hang obtrusively on a vehicle wall. The sensors consist of three units: a thermo-hygro sensor and rain sensor (either of which may be mounted on the roof or on a mobile platform) as well as a wind sensor (which should be mounted to a pole or easily erected stand). Power up and users quickly receive weather data specific to their location.

     La Crosse plans to introduce Weather Direct, a Web-based weather forecasting system permitting subscribers to use accumulated meteorological information from various sources to obtain forecasts for a specific location. Again, the readout is a small, framed display. This could be a good resource for the agency that must plan support for various events. Will the protest be in sunshine or heavy rain? What weather will the marine unit face? How bad will the weather be during a manhunt or search and rescue operation?

AngioLaz Inc.

     Many years ago an article described how to adapt a painter's pole to hold a camera, then trigger it via a cable release or remote. It was a blind operation, and an official had to shoot a lot of footage to ensure a good capture of the scene, but the technique worked. AngioLaz now offers the Vision Stick, bringing the concept into the 21st century.

     The Vision Stick, from this Westminster, Vermont, company, consists of a fiberglass pole with a camera on one end, and a monitor on the other. Standard expanding poles are available in lengths ranging from a 2- to 4-foot model to a 5- to 12-foot version. A variety of cameras are available including: standard color, color with thermal or infrared, and cameras with zoom lenses starting at 3x. The camera head comes in a straight configuration, a hinged model, or on a remotely articulating arm.

     The 3.5-inch standard monitor attaches to the unit's handle, permitting the operator to easily view the inspection. Standard video output is via RCA plugs. A larger monitor is available as a case-mounted unit, which receives data via a wireless transmitter that attaches to the unit monitor, thus permitting others to view what the operator is seeing.


     Safe storage is always a concern. Whether as a manner of dropping evidence during off-hours; storing buy money or other high-risk commodities for undercover use; or safely storing firearms at booking, court or home. Law enforcement officials are always trying to determine a procedure that will work for their specific storage needs. ETL's Wall Vault can help fill this void.

     This Modesto, California, company's product is a stainless steel-faced box that is 15.5 inches tall, 16.35 inches wide, and accessed either through biometric identification (a fingerprint) or via a keypad. The Wall Vault is designed to be mounted between standard, 16-inch center studs, making it both space saving and secure. The front panel slides down to permit access to the box's contents.

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