The last few years it has seemed that the exhibitors at the International Association of Chiefs of Police were escaping from a computer expo. There was so much eye-glazing tech-geek jargon going on at one recent IACP that we honestly had to check to see that we hadn’t somehow walked into a computer show by mistake.
That wasn’t the case at this year’s IACP held Sept. 24 through Sept. 28 at the Miami Convention Center. Yes, there were plenty of computers and software on the show floor. And there’s nothing wrong with that; computers and software are critical tools in contemporary law enforcement. But the real attractions at this year’s IACP expo were not high-tech; they were cool, practical tools for street police.
One of the most interesting trends at this year’s show was the growing number of tools that are moving from the special unit or special operations toolbox down to the patrol officer. For example, ITT is now marketing a bomb containment system that can be carried in the back of a patrol supervisor’s SUV and moved into position by two officers. In addition, Ford has a new option that adds armor protection to the Crown Vic.
These are just two of the examples of the cool police gear that was on display at IACP. Here’s a bunch more, including more details about ITT’s Two-Man Portable Explosive Suppressive System and the bullet-resistant Crown Vic.
Mobile Tactical Trainer
Even at a police trade show like IACP, it’s a little bit odd to hear loud, booming noises on the show floor. But if you were anywhere near the Anteon booth on row 100 of the show, you heard quite a few small explosions. The noises in question were training flash-bangs deployed by the Chattanooga Police Department’s SWAT team while demonstrating Anteon’s new Mobile Tactical Trainer (MTT). The MTT is essentially a mobile and configurable shoot house constructed of shipping containers. The system can be configured to create a three-story building. An optional instrumentation suite allows trainers to fill the rooms with smoke, loud noises, screams, and other realistic touches. Optional equipment also allows you to video the training for after-action review.
Reader Service No. 311
MSA Safety Products
ForceField Body Armor
MSA launched its new ForceField line of ballistic armor and helmets at IACP. The line includes the police version of the U.S. military’s ACH helmet. The ACH has been credited with saving the lives of American troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Features on the police version of the ACH are very similar to the ones on the military version, and they offer the same shrapnel and handgun round protection. Vests in the ForceField line include the Alpha Concealable vest and the Tango tactical vest. The Alpha offers MSA’s exclusive Tri-T Comfort System that wicks moisture away from the wearer’s skin. The Tango is a side-opening modular tactical vest with Molle pockets and rubberized textured shoulder patches for improved weapon stability.
Reader Service No. 312
Suspect Safety Sling
Invented by Officer Michael Millard of the Salt Lake City Police Department, the Suspect Safety Sling is designed to prevent a primary cause of sudden in-custody death. Millard says he invented the sling system after a prisoner died of positional asphyxia in his custody. The sling, which consists of lengths of polypropylene webbing with sewn-in metal attachments, is designed to secure a resistive prisoner in an upright position. Millard demonstrated that a prisoner can be secured in the sling in just 30 seconds. It can be removed just as quickly. The sling can be used in or out of a vehicle.
Reader Service No. 313
On the 2006 Crown Victoria Police Interceptor, Ford is offering a first: factory-installed ballistic doors. The ballistic panels combine ceramic and Kevlar protection and offer protection from rifle rounds, including .223 and 7.6mm. Each panel adds $1,200 plus tax to the cost of the vehicle. Buyers can purchase protection for just the driver’s side door or for both the driver’s and the passenger’s door.
Reader Service No. 314
Shocknife SK-1 Training Knife
If you want a slightly unpleasant sensation, turn on Shocknife’s SK-1 training knife, set it on its lowest setting, and run it across your bare arm. It feels like a paper cut. And like a paper cut, it stays with you a little while. Shocknife’s training knife uses focused electric energy along its dull training blade. The idea is to do for knife training what sim ammunition has done for force-on-force firearms training, bring a lot more stress to the training environment. When you get hit with the Shocknife, you feel it, even through clothing. Users can set the intensity of the cut simulator to mimic paper cuts, razor slashes, and even knife cuts. Of course, appropriate face guards and pads are recommended.
Reader Service No. 315
Liberator Tactical Light
First-Light’s Liberator is sort of a hands-free tactical flashlight. It essentially consists of a hand strap that mounts a powerful L-shaped flashlight. The hand strap makes it easier for the user to hold a handgun with both hands, load and reload, clear jams, grasp objects, open doors, climb, physically control or fight with suspects, deploy OC spray, hold a K-9 leash, and perform many other tasks that require two hands. All controls for the light are duplicated on the hand strap and on the light’s body. The three-Watt LED and reflector yield up to 80 lumens of light. On its highest setting the Liberator’s two three-volt lithium batteries can last 90 minutes.
Reader Service No. 316
Portable Bomb Containment
ITT’s new bomb suppression system is not “mobile,” it’s “portable.” That means two strong patrol officers can carry it to a suspect explosive device, cover the device, retreat to a safe distance, and wait for the bomb techs. The Two-Man Portable Explosive Suppressive System is essentially a 27-inch diameter ballistic nylon hatbox. Inside is a reservoir for water and antifreeze. The combination of the ballistic nylon and the fluid traps both blast and heat and can withstand the force of a grenade, a pipe bomb, or other small explosive device.
Reader Service No. 317
Video Digital Power Magazine
Taser International previewed its new video-equipped battery pack for the Taser X26. The Taser Cam adds only two ounces to the weight of the weapon, and can capture up to two hours of black-and-white MPEG 4 video. Taser says the Taser Cam is fully integrated, solid state, and low-light capable. The Taser Cam is expected to ship early next year as a $399 option on the X26.
Reader Service No. 318
Mobile Digital Video
The Mobile Digital Video system from Data 911 was designed specifically for public safety applications, and it’s a perfect complement to Data 911 in-car computer systems. Both video and audio are captured by the system’s Video Processing Unit. The system’s mobile management system allows viewing of live images captured from up to four in-vehicle cameras. Data can be manually transferred or sent to a server via wireless 802.11G.
Reader Service No. 319
Cougar Concealable Vest
Britain’s ArmorShield chose IACP to make its splash into the U.S. body armor market. The company’s Cougar concealable vest is a good example of its offerings. The Cougar is an NIJ Level II or IIIA vest. One interesting feature in ArmorShield’s vests is the company’s patented Blunt Trauma System. This piece of impact-absorbing material is designed to mitigate the punch of a bullet hitting the vest.
Reader Service No. 320
CamLite Video System
CamLite Corp. packs a whole lot into its small, handheld camera system that looks like and operates as a flashlight. The CamLite Model 1000 is also a video and audio recorder and a wireless transmitter with a 1,000-foot range. The system is compatible with some existing in-car video systems and weighing just over a pound, the CamLite is as easy to carry as a full-size flashlight. It features a rechargeable battery pack that provides three hours of flashlight-only use and eight hours of camera-only use.
Reader Service No. 321
Livefire Simulation System
If you’ve ever wished that you could draw your personal sidearm and fire at a simulator screen, Laser Shot has the product for you. Laser Shot’s new Livefire Simulation Trainer is a combination of hardware and software that allows the operator to project simulator scenarios onto a special rubber screen. The screen is self sealing and can absorb thousands of rounds of live fire. Special cameras detect the heat of bullets passing through the screen and determine if the shooter successfully neutralized the threat presented in the scenario. The Livefire Simulation Trainer can be used on any indoor range.
Reader Service No. 322
The Telson GTX duty boot features Danner’s proprietary EXO construction, which replaces the standard boot shank. EXO, as the name implies, is an exoskeleton system. Functionally, EXO gives the Telson GTX the durability of a traditional shank, but it’s lighter and more comfortable. The Telson GTX also features a waterproof Gore-Tex lining. Danner says the boot will be available in the second quarter of 2006.
Reader Service No. 323
Invented by Michael Coscino, a 25-year veteran of the DuPage County (Ill.) Sheriff’s Office, the Safety Vest is a highly visible, battery-operated reflective vest for officers working traffic duty. Insight’s proprietary electro-lumination technology is hand sewn into each vest. The battery-operated vests light up in a steady-on mode and a flash mode. Independent tests have shown that the vests can run for 33 hours on two AA alkaline batteries. Users say the lit up, reflective vests can be seen from more than four blocks away.
Reader Service No. 324
BriteSite Night Sights
TruGlo’s new BriteSite Tritium/Fiber Optic night sights offer extreme visibility under both day and night conditions. The sights are designed to be extremely durable with the tritium vials protected by a metal cover. Their luminescence is transmitted to the shooter via fiber optics. The concealed fiber cannot be seen by the target. TruGlo’s new BriteSite sights are available for a wide variety of handguns and long guns.
Reader Service No. 325
Protective Products International
Python Ballistic Vest
The new Python ballistic vest from Protective Products International offers a variety of features designed to enhance wearer comfort. Python’s carrier has a microfiber lining to wick away moisture. It also features replaceable and removable straps that allow the user to customize the fit to his or her body shape. The vests come in NIJ Level II and Level IIIA, and the ballistic inserts are made of Goldflex and Twaron.
Reader Service No. 326