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TREXPO West: Tactical Tools

Vendors roll out latest high-tech gear for tac ops teams at nation's premier SWAT show.

May 01, 2003  |  by - Also by this author

Body Heat

Another new wrinkle in the world of tactical video is the thermal camera.
Several companies offer these cameras, including Zistos Industrial-Video. The Zistos Thermal Imaging Camera fits on the Zistos WalkAbout pole camera system and can be used to observe people in smoke, total darkness, and other low- visibility conditions. Like all other Zistos video cameras for the WalkAbout system, the Thermal Imaging Camera fits on poles as long as 19 feet, and on wands, batons, and trolleys. Images from the Thermal Imaging Camera can be viewed on tethered monitors, or, when paired with wireless transmitters, on remote monitors.

Handheld Thermal

Also in the thermal imaging sector, DTC Communications introduced a handheld infrared camera, the ThermoVision Scout. The flashlight-shaped Scout features a built-in 2.5-inch color LCD monitor, and it can capture 50 JPEG thermal images and store them in its onboard memory. DTC says the 1.5-pound Scout is one of the lightest infrared imaging and storage cameras in the world, and it can be attached to a police belt. The Scout can pick up images as far away as 1,200 feet, depending on conditions.

See Through Walls

Time Domain’s portable radar system can see through walls.

For some time now, Huntsville, Ala.-based Time Domain Corp. has been developing through-the-wall radar. The company's new RadarVision is a lightweight (10-pound) unit that detects movement on the other side of walls and can be used to pinpoint suspects before making an entry or to locate hidden suspects. Using RadarVision, trained officers can track the bad guys at a range of up to 30 feet through fiberglass, wood, gypsum, brick, and even concrete walls. The system is powered by rechargeable batteries and can operate for more than one hour per charge.

Portable Protection

This ballistic material from a Patriot 3 Minuteman portable shield stopped a burst from an MP5.

One of the problems with ballistic shields is that they can be difficult to store, transport, and carry. Patriot 3 is now marketing a line of folding NIJ Level IIIA ballistic shields. The Minuteman line of shields features a ballistic viewport, folds into a briefcase-size carry bag, and can be erected in approximately 20 seconds. Shields are available in camouflage, yellow, and tactical black.

Boots on the Ground

Magnum’s new Elite line of tactical boots feature washable insoles.

Magnum Boots is now selling its new line of Elite footwear. The Elite line was designed to meet the specs of worldwide elite military and law enforcement units. However, that doesn't mean that the designers have sacrificed wearer comfort for durability or protection. Elite boots are both tough and comfortable. Features include puncture-resistant soles, polyurethane midsoles, composite shanks that won't trigger metal detectors, waterproof construction, and antimicrobial, antibacterial, washable insoles. The Elite series is available in 3-inch, 6-inch, and 8-inch models.

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