Arriving in Chicago for the International Association for Chiefs of Police (IACP), I had a slight idea of what to expect but held high anticipation of the unknown. Facts I knew: The conference was large; it was great for networking; I would be meeting my coworkers face to face for the first time, and I would be busy. All of my expectations were met in a positive way.
Several vendors caught my eye in the exhibit hall with some of the latest technology available for law enforcement. Being part of a department gave me another level of appreciation for the products on exhibit.
Officer Media GroupPanasonic gave me a demo of their new software called Verify. The demonstration itself was impressive with the setup. I was taken into a room with a mock patrol car and told to sit in the driver’s seat. To the left of the windshield was a small, strategically placed screen that integrates head-up-display, (HUD) technology. Also, located on the console was a four-button controller that offers information with a touch of a button. This includes access to the HUD, dispatch information, navigation, and license queries. Verify also includes voice activating license plate search software and is able to connect with a department’s CAD and RMS system. It is also equipped with the federated search query which allows officers the ability to search through other agency databases and will provide one report. Each component of Verify provides updates on crucial information for the officer without compromising officer safety allowing situational awareness to be maintained at all times. A microphone with noise reduction capabilities reduces unwanted background noise. Along these lines, the voice-enabled license plate search provides officers a way to obtain needed information without taking their eyes off the road. Additionally, Verify has the ability to display warnings and alerts such as recent, activity and warrants. The system is able to work with rugged laptops including the latest TOUGHBOOK 55 from Panasonic.
I was also shown the Arbitrator body camera which allows easy deployment, has a long battery life of up to 12 hours, and the ability to switch out individual batteries in order to prolong use.
The presence of new tech was evident
As I walked around the show floor, introducing myself to exhibitors and observing the vendor hall, other technology was introduced to me by representatives of Motorola and Vigilant Solutions. BallisticSearch and CrimeSearch, are two new types of software that offer great, quick solutions to connecting physical evidence with crime, and a suspect as well as connecting various crimes to particular regions.
BallisticSearch focuses on the shell casings that are found at a scene. Motorola and Vigilant Solutions teamed up with forensic tool marking and firearms experts along with former ATF agents to develop software that can quickly compare shell casings and expedite the collection of intel in a case. When shell casings are collected at a crime scene, there are often more than one, in fact, more often than not, there are numerous casings that may be from the same caliber of firearm. Ballistic Search allows an agency to magnify the shell casings for better observation and comparison. The software is then able to determine which casings have the most defined markings and would be ideal for further analysis. Once a match is potentially found, the agency can alert remote firearms experts that are part of their remote examining team. The expert can view the images and determine an outcome in a timely manner. This type of information may then be relayed to detectives quickly which can result in more intel or faster arrest.
CrimeSearch utilizes the ballistic information as well as other information housed in an agency's RMS system to detect patterns of crime by type, place, or evidence involved.
These two softwares offer fast results and a large amount of crucial information. Since forensics is my specialty, I was fascinated by these two systems and greatly appreciated the introduction and demonstration of them.
The number of vendors, exhibitors, and law enforcement personnel was overwhelming but truly a unique experience. This year even included representation from other countries such as the United Kingdom and Dubai. Aside from the vendor hall, plenty of other activities were available for attendees. Chiefs and other law enforcement personnel were given options for classes, talks, and events such as Chief’s Night and other special dinners like the Blauer’s Ball put on by Blauer Uniform in order to thank some of their clientele.
Networking options at IACP are endless and by changing the location of the event each year, allows for the chance of more connections for law enforcement and vendors alike. I’m looking forward to what next year's IACP has in store.