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TREXPO: Business as Usual

The first TREXPO since 9-11 includes anti-terror gear but focuses on tools for everyday SWAT operations.

May 01, 2002  |  by - Also by this author

A couple of other notable high-tech products at TREXPO West included Card Integrators' Easy Badge, a photo security system suited to the security needs of police agencies, and the P3 from Millennium Sensor. The P3 is a wireless microwave sensor system with a range of up to 60 feet. SWAT officers can use the sensor system to track the movement of the bad guys in a building, effect perimeter security, and alert them to flanking maneuvers.

Getting Wet

Because of the presence of Tactical Watreborne Operations for a pre-TREXPO training session and demonstrations at the TREXPO show, there were several exhibitors at TREXPO West who specialized in equipment for am-phibious and underwater operations. Aqua Lung/U.S. Divers show-ed its line of Oxy-Lung underwater breathing apparatuses used for stealthy appro-aches by military and law enforcement divers. The closed-circuit units prevent the tell-tale release of bubbles that is inherent with scuba regulators.

Besides ste-althy approach, another concern with the use of underwater tactical units is communication. At TREXPO West, Divelink International Technologies demoed its Divelink ultrasonic wireless co-m-m-un--ication system. The voice-activated technology allows divers to talk to each other and to colleagues on the surface while submerged.

Non-Recreational Vehicles

SWAT assault vehicles were another big draw at the show. Two of the most visible were the GM Defense/Patriot 3 and the SWATEC trucks. Both feature telescoping metal ramps that can be used to rescue victims, insert forces, and provide shooting stands for police snipers. The SWATEC Height Adjustable Rescue Assault System (HARAS) lets users gain access to buildings and aircraft up to three stories high. The Mobile Adjustable Ramp System (MARS) from Patriot 3 can be mounted on heavy armored vehicles from GM Defense and features a sniper position.

A Place for Your Stuff

Vehicle storage that allows tactical teams to organize their gear was also popular with the TREXPO West attendees. Odyssey Automotive Specialties exhibited its new cabinet system that features a weapons locker with snug foam compartments for a variety of police tools, including MP5 subguns, AR-15s, shotguns, rifles, ammunition, and less lethal munitions.

I See You

Perhaps no other category of products was more active at TREXPO West than tactical video. Instrument Technology Inc. (ITI), Photech, Sciax Defence Systems, Search Systems Inc., and Tactronix were all on hand, showing their latest hardware.

ITI showed an expansive product line of surveillance vid-eo tools, inclu-ding under-door scopes, low-light infrared systems, 15-foot telescoping pole systems, fiber video lenses, and peephole systems. In addition, ITI makes Contraband Search Scopes that can be used to inspect the insides of vehicle gas tanks and other enclosed areas.

Sciax's SeCam Tactical Video System is a 17-foot telescoping pole system with a couple of neat wrinkles. The SeCam's camera head is only 1.25 inches in diameter, so it fits in a lot of confined areas; it rotates 270 degrees on its own axis, and it is submersible to 165 feet. Also the SeCam's 6.5-inch LCD monitor comes with a removable hood to aid daylight viewing.

Heat Signature

TREXPO is a good place to see the latest police surveillance optics and precision weapon sights. Two examples of innovative high-tech gun sights were on display: the EOTech Holographic Diffraction Sight (HDS) and the SpecterIR from Elcan Optical Technologies.

The EOTech system has won praise from both police and military users in field operations. At TREXPO, EOTech showed its second-generation Series 500 HDS, which is lighter and smaller than the previous models, is compatible with Generation 1 through Generation 3-plus night vision intensifier tubes, and can be operated with everyday AA batteries.

Slightly more exotic is Elcan's soon-to-be-released SpecterIR. The SpecterIR thermal weapons sight is ideal for night surveillance in fog, rain, snow, and even smoke. Another projected use for the thermal infrared system is search-and-rescue operations.

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