Every International Association of Chiefs of Police show kind of has its own vibe. Last year's show in Denver was all about vehicles, as Chevy really amped the excitement level with the announcement of its new Caprice patrol car. This year's show was held in Orlando from Oct. 24 to 26, and it was much more subdued but there was still plenty of cool stuff on the show floor.
Some of the most interesting things on display at this year's show were actually new revisions of existing products. We saw a lot of software packages that had been tweaked to add new features and other products that had been refined in some substantial way. One product that was very exciting for many attendees was the new and improved 2011 Dodge Charger Pursuit. However, since this vehicle is thoroughly covered in our feature on the Michigan State Police testing, we chose not to include it in our IACP coverage.
Here's a quick look at some of the things that caught our eyes.
5.11 Tactical: Duty Jackets
At this year's show, 5.11 introduced the Signature Duty Jacket and the Reversible Hi-Vis Duty Jacket. Both jackets offer all the storage features that you would expect in a 5.11 garment. The Signature Duty Jacket is bloodborne pathogen resistant, has a removable quilted liner, and a pull-out rear ID panel. The Reversible Hi-Vis Duty Jacket is made of breathable waterproof material, reverses from black to a Hi-Vis yellow that meets ANSI Level II, and is accented with 3M Scotchlite high-visibility reflective tape.
Activu: Activu Mobility
Activu's IP-based command and control visualization and collaboration technology has been used in law enforcement for years. But at this year's IACP, the company unveiled a really cool application for its technology. Activu Mobility allows command center and other mission critical visuals to be sent directly to the smartphone or PDA of an officer in the field. Field operators can also use their smartphones or other mobile devices to capture images and video and send them back to the command center.
Blauer: Tactical Trousers with Stretch
Blauer's new 8823 Tactical Trousers with Stretch are a part of the company's StreetGear line. Available in tan, black, and blue, these machine washable pants are comfortable and practical. Bamboo fiber next to the skin provides softness and moisture wicking, while nylon and a B.XDRY liquid repellant finish on the outside make the pants durable. Stretch comes in the form of eight percent Spandex in the fabric for a comfortable fit. Being tac pants, Blauer's Tactical Trousers with Stretch feature pockets on the hip and thigh, reinforced knees, and a D-ring on the waistband. Another nice feature is a nylon zipper for easy on/off.
Brooking Industries: Electric Vehicles
In addition to LED lightbars, switch boxes, and prisoner transport products, Sunrise, Fla.-based Brooking Industries now also supplies law enforcement agencies with a wide range of electric vehicles that seat from two to six people and go up to 25 mph. Useful for parking enforcement and policing events, these vehicles from Current Electric Vehicles range in price from $7,500 to $12,000. And because they run for 30 to 40 miles per charge, they cost around $10 per month to operate, far less than gas-powered cars.
Combat Medical Systems: Litter Arms
Ambulances often can't or won't enter a hot situation where officers or other people are hurt and need medical attention. With AllEvac Universal Vehicle Litter Arms, you can safely mount litters to the inside walls of an armored response vehicle to evacuate injured people from the scene. Universal mount plates allow the arms to be left in place and folded away or removed and stowed until needed. The arms snap into place on the mounts in a single movement, allowing any vehicle to become evacuation capable in a matter of seconds. The mount plates can also be used to mount weapons and other equipment for SWAT use.
Digital Ally: Thermal Ally
A few months back, Digital Ally released its new speed enforcement system Laser Ally. IACP attendees could stop by the company's booth and get some hands-on experience with the device. They could also see Digital Ally's coming attraction: the Thermal Ally. Digital Ally has entered the handheld thermal imager market with a compact, feature-loaded device that's really cost-competitive. The Thermal Ally has a focus-free lens for fast target acquisition and multiple color palettes for accurate identification of targets and evidence. Operators can record images and output the video. The system runs on rechargeable batteries or external power.