It seems everyone has had at least one of “those” ideas. A concept brought on through observing a gap in an issue, that missing link in repeated tasks. Most of the inspired have little chance in seeing their ideas come to life; some are emailed to a favorite company or discussed at focus groups. Truth is, law enforcement officers like yourselves are one of the best resources manufacturers have when it comes time to updating a product or filling in that gap by a clever tool.
Meanwhile some officers added CEO to their title while off-duty. These brave few bare the responsibilities from drafting, procuring suppliers, and even the daunting task manufacturing the item/s in their own living rooms for fellow law enforcement customers. Some even
continue to report for duty.
Turn left ... NOW! And watch that cone.
This idea started out as an advanced driving school where instructors outside the vehicle manned a lightswitch box. Virginia-based Officer Chris Ihara wanted to figure out how to move that instructor inside with the trainee. Then automate the process.
A typical accident avoidance exercise takes the trainee from a single lane to three. An instructor then communicates to the driver which lane to take either by radio, flag, or otherwise. Drivers swerve at the last minute—replicating an obstruction avoidance maneuver. Ihara’s Automated Traffic Scenario System (ATSS) works in this exercise, but takes a few human factors out of the equation. One of those is the confusion voice command—getting the command “left” or “right” mixed resulting in a possible disadvantage. When was the last time you were driving alone and needing to make a sudden avoidance maneuver? Was there a voice on the radio with direction? “You never make a lane change based on what you hear, you make it based on what you’ve seen,” says Ihara.
Factor two, anticipation. With cones set up trainees know the command or lights are going to change. Set up traditionally, the exercise runs at 35 mph with cones spaced out to allow a 1.5 second reaction time. Trainees can anticipate the event—subconscious or not—and slow down. Ihara’s ATSS uses what he calls an “adaptive reaction time.” The system utilizes radar and calculates the vehicle’s speed to adjust the light change accordingly. This allows that customer-programmed second reaction time regardless of that anticipation.
No more hand signals. No more flags. No more disembodied voices. The visual exercise returns to the reactive training as intended.
Three different modes of operation allow the system to accommodate a variety of training needs:
- Braking Mode—Students are presented with three red lights forcing an emergency stop.
- Emergency Lane Change Mode—Students are presented with a random pattern of lights requiring a swerve into one or more lanes, or an emergency stop.
- Intersection Clearing Mode—Students must look and analyze each leg of an intersection before proceeding while running code. No other light system has this feature.
As distributor, Blacktop Bootcamp does still do a small amount of training, but the primary focus is now on the ATSS product.
Sometimes, it’s the simplest of tools
Invented by a police officer to increase convenience and safety on the job, the QuiqLiteX Rechargeable UV/White Light is the only hands-free, LED ultraviolet light source. Small and compact, the light is designed to clip on the inside of a uniform’s shirt pocket. A single on/off button, easily activated through a shirt pocket, operates three modes of operations; ultraviolet LED light, white LED light, and the flashing personal emergency strobe. The QuiqliteX also provides a “Power Boost” mode increases the white light output from 20-lumen to become a more powerful 75-lumen searchlight function. For documents that react to UV light like driver licenses, passports, social security cards, matricula consular, vehicle title documents, birth certificates, currency (US & foreign), credit cards, traveler checks, money orders, cashier’s checks, casino chips and more, officers can easily authenticate while remaining hands free.
The QuiqLiteX is LED powered and USB rechargeable. Dual UV/White “hands-free” light has been designed specifically to free the hands of police, immigration and customs enforcers, money handlers and other personnel who need to quickly verify documents. The Quiqlite’s high power, “UV” 380nm LED light aids in the rapid detection of counterfeits. The “White” LED light can be used at 20 lumens to maintain night vision or 70 lumens for normal reading.
The patented, full-featured rechargeable QuiqLiteX LED light is like an emergency light kit in your pocket. Depending on the mode, the long-lasting rechargeable battery will retain its power for up to 11 hours of continuous use. In the emergency strobe mode, with its flashing, high-visibility UV/White LED beam, the light can run continuously for up to five hours. The light’s magnetized clip will attach to the car’s roof and become a beacon warning of the hazardous obstruction. A flare adapter that enhances the strobe’s visibility to over a mile away is also included. It measures only 1 inch by 3 inches and includes both a built-in shirt pocket clip and a heavy-duty magnetic clip adapter. To have the LED beam directed exactly where it is needed, the light’s body can rotate 360-degrees with an additional 160-degree up/down adjustment for the LED light arm. Using the included micro USB charging cable, the unit can be fully charged in about two hours and can be monitored by the charging indicator LED. To maximize battery power, the Blue/White mode has a ten-minute automatic shutoff timer.
A rifle with Quantico in its history
Rifle production manager, Dan Hanus. Hanus is the former chief instructor and production chief of the Marines Precision Weapons School in Quantico where the sniper rifles he built led to the demise of many a jihadist. Hanus learned in the Marines that there’s a right way to build sniper rifles and to take no shortcuts when it comes to the tools we put in our soldiers hands. The approach he takes to building a Bergara rifle has been described as obsessive and each rifle goes through a series of 16 steps that others in the rifle industry have painted as crazed, compulsive, redundant, nitpicking or all of the above. Hanus pays no mind and does all of these as routine. All of this attention to detail adds up to a rifle with the reliability of a Kalashnikov yet the guarantee that it will shoot sub-MOA groups. Bergara stands by this guarantee and forbids any rifle from leaving the factory unless it has first passed an accuracy test. A test target ships with each rifle guaranteeing its accuracy.
Bergara USA has received multiple agency awards to outfit SWAT Sniper teams across the country. It starts with the barrel. When Bergara set out to design its center-fire rifle barrels it teamed up with legendary barrel maker Ed Shilen. Shilen’s barrels have won 13 world records and he was inducted into the bench rest hall of fame. Shilen helped Bergara develop manufacturing techniques that would allow them to make custom quality barrels at production barrel prices. Bergara uses a proprietary triple honing process and diamond-tipped bits that create a mirror-like finish on the bore. The company then button rifles the barrels, keeping the deviation of the groove less than .0002”.
To top it all off, Bergara works with each agency and each SWAT team to determine exactly what rifle system they need. “We work in detail with them and find out exactly what type of situations they most commonly use their rifles in, what style of stock their shooters are most used to (chassis or solid stock), as well as things like weight needs, night vision, thermal attachments, etc. With a purchase like this it’s critical to ask the right questions so that we can choose a set up that fits an agency’s needs 100 percent,” remarked Hanus. “We know they are not only using this rifle to protect their fellow officers, but they are using it to protect each one of us. We don’t see this as a one-time sale but instead as a long term relationship where we’ll take care of each shooter and each agency for a lifetime.”