TREXPO is held twice each year. Once on the West Coast in Long Beach, Calif., and once in the Washington, D.C., suburb of Chantilly, Va. And although the two shows bear the same name, they have different character.
Exhibitors at the Long Beach TREXPO know that the overwhelming majority of show attendees will be municipal or county law enforcement officers. At TREXPO East, however, the attendees are a little more diverse. The show attracts a considerable number of armed forces personnel and even more federal law enforcement agents and officers.
The diversity of job descriptions found in the crowd at TREXPO East also leads to more diversity in the vendors on the show floor. At TREXPO East, you see more products that could be used by both domestic law enforcement and the military. Also at TREXPO East, you see more high-end, high-tech stuff because the vendors know that the attendees may represent federal agencies with deep federal pockets.
Here's a look at some of the more intriguing products that could be seen in the aisles of this year's TREXPO East trade show held in late August.
Brite-Strike is a new player in the flashlight market, but the quality of its products is demanding attention. The lights themselves are solid, hard-duty tools with a variety of great features. That said, the coolest thing in the Brite-Strike line is the Tactical Ball. Available in packs of three, Brite-Strike's Tactical Balls are extremely bright ball-shaped lights that can be rolled into a room to distract or disorient the occupants, kind of like a silent flash-bang.
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PMAG Polymer Magazine
Designed with an optional view slot called a MagLevel that lets an operator instantly determine how many rounds are left, Magpul's PMAG is a 30-round polymer M-16 magazine. The company says the PMAG is made of an impact-resistant proprietary polymer. It also features a pop-off storage/dust cover to protect the feed lips and keep out dust, dirt, and sand. Reliability is enhanced by the mag's four-way anti-tilt follower and true constant internal curve geometry. The PMAG is available in black and three shades of green.
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There are always a lot of robots at any TREXPO show. This year was no exception. They were crawling and rolling all over the place. One of the more interesting models was the Copperhead from Simulator Systems. The Copperhead is an easy-to-use wheeled robot with great acceleration and control capable of multiple missions. It's an excellent surveillance/reconnaissance platform featuring a camera with tilt and pan capabilities and infrared and audio features. In addition, an optional arm is available for carrying payloads such as throw phones.
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Dulles Case Center
Dulles Case Center is a distributor of Pelican hard plastic cases. However, the company also makes its own foam inserts for the Pelican cases and its own nylon soft bags. The bags are made in the United States, and the company can take custom orders for size and features.
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Enhanced Night Vision Goggle
ITT didn't exactly show its latest military product at TREXPO, but if you asked about it a company rep was willing to break it out. Not currently available for law enforcement, the ITT Enhanced Night Vision Goggle combines Generation 3 image intensifier capability with infrared thermal. The Gen 3 tube lights up the night, and the IR thermal system lets you see living targets even through smoke. The monocular is the same size as the ultra popular AN/PVS-14. Maybe in a few years it will be available for LE apps. For now, the military is taking all that ITT can produce.
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Mass Incident Garment
The number one benefit of the Lion Apparel's Mass Incident Garment (MIG) is comfort. At TREXPO Lion showed the MIG Z3, a WMD garment comprising a parka-style coat with an attached and stowable hood and mid-bib pants. Features include a vapor skirt that protects the operator from vapor but allows the wear of a duty belt. The garment also comes with removable gloves and booties and Velcro marking tabs for attaching badges and insignia. Protection is provided by a W.L. Gore semi-permeable membrane. NFPA 1994 Class 3 certification is pending.
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Springfield showed its new and improved XD semi-auto, the XDM, at TREXPO East. The new XDM has a model contour frame; deeper and longer slide serrations, and a redesigned grip with more grooves. In addition, the XDM has a match-grade barrel and an optional ambidextrous thumb safety. The XDM is available in a variety of configurations in .40 S&W.
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Designed and developed at the request of the Department of Defense, Inova's new K-Series Flashlight combines the capabilities of multiple illumination devices into one device. The DOD wanted a lightweight handheld light that could serve double duty as a weapons light. The LED lights have multi-color and infrared capability. K-Series lights are manufactured in the United States, and have lightweight carbon composite bodies as well as patented heat dissipating vented heads. The lights are available in black, tan, and ACU camo.
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Chameleon Chemical Detector
Officers going into a hazardous chemical environment such as a clandestine drug lab may want to bring Morphix Technologies' Chameleon along for the ride. Chameleon is a wrist-worn chemical detector. It's easy to use and easy to read. The system works kind of like litmus paper. Users load up the wrist band with cassettes—plastic pieces coated with a chemically reactive material—for the hazardous chemicals they expect to encounter. Cassettes are available for a wide variety of chemical hazards, including chlorine, fluorine, hydrogen sulfide, iodine, sulfur dioxide, phosgene, and others. Each cassette costs about three dollars, and each wrist band can hold up to 10 cassettes. Once exposed, the cassettes are viable for 24 hours. They have a two-year shelf life.
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DragonForce Command Center
DragonForce Command Center is the latest entry into the growing field of tactical software applications. The software runs on a variety of mobile field devices and includes the following capabilities: GPS tracking of team members with real-time tracking on geo-referenced maps, text messaging with pre-loaded messages to expedite communication, interactive whiteboarding that allows field operators to map what they are seeing and receive directions from command, and the ability to share images, including photos, maps, and floorplans.
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Electric Motion Systems
E+ Tactical Bicycle
Bicycle officers looking for a versatile patrol bike may want to take a look at the E+ Tactical Bicycle from Electric Motion Systems. The E+ can be operated by pedal power, by pedal and electric, or just as an electric bike. With a top speed of more than 30 mph, the E+ can go 40 miles on a single charge. The bike comes in two models: 18-inch frame and 20-inch frame in black and metallic blue.
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Tomahawk Tactical Light
The Tomahawk Tactical Light is the latest in First-Light's line of "hands-free" illumination tools. While the company's flagship product, the Liberator Tactical Light, features a special handgrip, the much smaller Tomahawk has a finger grip. The Tomahawk's Finger-Loop Retention System allows an operator to use both hands while maintaining control of the light. It comes in five versions ranging from 80 lumens to 120 lumens of power and featuring a variety of different LEDs, including colors and infrared. The light is easy to stow and carry, and it features a built-in MOLLE clip.
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Rite in the Rain Paper
Back in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Papermate pen company used to promote its zero-gravity pen technology. It had developed a ballpoint pen for NASA that didn't need gravity to feed the ink to the writing head. In some ways, J.L. Darling's Rite in the Rain line of pads and notebooks is a similar product. It was designed to help people write under conditions that most people never experience such as taking investigative notes in a downpour. The company also makes a line of all-weather pens. However, a standard pen works pretty well with the paper. J.L. Darling says that Rite in the Rain is in use with military and law enforcement personnel as well as journalists and naturalists all around the world.
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