FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!

Cobalt Software Platform - Mark43
Mark43's Cobalt software platform unites a set of law enforcement tools securely...

Transforming Police Reporting with Speech Recognition Technology

Brought to you by:

Register now!

Wednesday, November 28, 2018 -- 11:00 AM PT/2:00 PM ET

An exceeding number of police departments and law enforcement agencies, whose officers spend upwards of 3-4 hours a day completing incident reports and other time-sensitive paperwork*, are turning to smarter tools, such as speech recognition solutions, to help transform their police reporting workflows.

Join us on Wednesday, November 28, 2018 at 2:00 PM ET to hear why these law enforcement professionals are embracing smarter tools to complete higher-quality reports and move mission-critical information within the CAD/RMS faster and more efficiently – all by voice.

This discussion will provide you with an understanding of:

  • What law enforcement has to say about current reporting processes
  • Why officers, especially recruits, want smarter tools to help with police paperwork
  • Why manual reporting has a negative impact on report accuracy and productivity and can hinder criminal proceedings
  • How departments can speed up data entry within the CAD/RMs and move mission-critical information more accurately and efficiently
  • How speech recognition technology can help increase officer safety and improve situational awareness and productivity on patrol
  • Why embracing smarter technology increases community visibility, and minimizes costs

Learn how your department can make incident reporting faster, safer and more complete by registering for our webinar today.

*Role of Technology in Law Enforcement Paperwork Survey 


Eric La Scola, Product Marketing Manager, Dragon, Nuance

Register now!

Demystifying the Convergence of LTE and LMR Networks for First Responders

Brought to you by:

Register now!

Thursday, December 6, 2018 -- 11:00 AM PT/2:00 PM ET

Narrowband Land Mobile Radio (LMR) networks and user radio equipment have been the cornerstone of mobile communications for First Responders for decades. The trend from traditional analog to more robust wireless broadband networks in recent years has improved the overall accessibility but questions remain on whether the new networks can provide all the required capabilities First Responders need to do their job.

Increasing demand for bandwidth intensive applications such as video, advanced mapping and analytics, alongside critical voice communications has been driving adoption of broadband LTE cellular networks, such as FirstNet.

Join our panel of industry experts for this insightful 60-minute webinar as they discuss the critical differences between LMR networks and LTE networking, how these technologies can successfully co-exist, and explore the future of critical communications for First Responders.

In this webinar, you will learn:

  • Current and future industry trends for LTE and LMR technologies
  • Challenges and obstacles with the convergence of technologies
  • Real-life examples of successful hybrid communication strategies for First Responders
  • Recommendations for future proofing your agency; adoption of new technologies and how to bridge the gap


Tony Morris, VP North American Sales, Enterprise Solutions, Sierra Wireless

Jesus Gonzalez, Analyst II, Critical Communications, IHS Markit

Ken Rehbehn, Principal Analyst, Critical Communications Insights

Andrew Seybold, Senior Partner, Andrew Seybold Inc.

Departments : First Look

Secret Agent: Sur-Tec's VP Covert App

Sur-Tec’s VP software suite turns a smartphone into a lifeline for undercover officers.

May 03, 2011  |  by - Also by this author

Sur-Tec's VP Covert Audio and GPS software runs on the Windows Mobile Platform and replaces RF body wires. Photo: Sur-Tec.

There's a pivotal scene in almost every cop movie ever made since the 1960s. The undercover officer or the reluctant confidential informant meets with the criminal boss while wearing a wire and things go horribly wrong.

They go horribly wrong in real life, too. "We had one customer put it like this: 'You get caught wearing a wire, and it's a very bad day. It hardly ever ends well,'" says Todd Dupriest, CEO of Lenexa, Kan.-based Sur-Tec.

Since its founding 25 years ago, Sur-Tec has specialized in covert video and video surveillance tools. And one tool that the company has always wanted to improve is the radio frequency (RF) body wire. In 2009, Sur-Tec rolled out a new product that may make the RF body wire as obsolete as the buggy whip.

Sur-Tec's VP Covert Audio and GPS software suite is a patented surreptitious listening tool for law enforcement that allows an undercover officer or CI to stream live audio and GPS to one or more computers. The mobile application element of the software runs in the background on the user's smartphone.

Back in 2008 when Sur-Tec was developing VP, a computer engineering association magazine declared that streaming audio live over smartphones without latency (buffering) was not possible with current technology. Sur-Tec's engineers knew that it would be difficult, but they didn't agree that it was impossible.

"We're not using a voice channel," explains Dupriest. "We are streaming audio and that was technically challenging. Our customers demand as close to zero latency as humanly possible."

Concealment and speed are not the only benefits of the VP system over conventional RF wires. The range of RF body wires is limited by the power of their transmitters, urban clutter such as buildings, and the presence of a repeater. In contrast, VP has no range limits.

VP's data stream can be sent to any computer equipped with the software anywhere in the world. At last year's National Technical Investigators Association (NATIA) annual training conference in suburban Dallas-Fort Worth, Sur-Tec demonstrated the capabilities of VP by streaming data live to the show from Maui, Kansas City, and New York.

Of course, the capabilities of VP are affected by the quality of the cellular data network in the area of operation. "We're infrastructure dependent," says Dupriest. "Our system is as good as the network on which it operates." VP was developed to run on Sprint's 3G network. When that's not available, the system roams until it finds an appropriate signal. It can also be set up to use a Wi-Fi signal.

Also, if the signal drops, VP is designed to ensure that the undercover officer or informant still has a record of the conversation. The software transforms the phone into a surreptitious digital audio recorder. In addition, a data connection is re-established automatically once a signal is available without any action by the user.

Monitors can also send signals through vibrations to the undercover operative. The system allows the cover officers to buzz the operative's phone with either a two-second or a five-second pulse that could be used as a warning or an alert.

Dupriest says he realizes that savvy criminals may soon catch on to the use of smartphones for surveillance, but that doesn't invalidate VP. "It's a matter of officer safety," Dupriest argues. If the bad guy finds something on you, let him find a cell phone. Worst case scenario: he takes it or you have to destroy it to prove it's a cell phone. Go ahead, destroy it. It's just a cell phone. The other side of that coin is: you get caught with a wire."

VP is now available for the Windows Mobile platform. Sur-Tec is working on an Android version. The software sells for $4,995 per device for a lifetime license. Sur-Tec also offers a monthly plan for qualifying agencies.

Request more info about this product / service / company

Be the first to comment on this story

POLICE Magazine does not tolerate comments that include profanity, personal attacks or antisocial behavior (such as "spamming" or "trolling"). This and other inappropriate content or material will be removed. We reserve the right to block any user who violates this, including removing all content posted by that user.

Other Recent Stories

Can You Legally Counter a Drone?
What can you do to protect the public and yourself from drones?

Police Magazine