The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) show has for much of this decade been a showcase for big-ticket, high-tech law enforcement equipment. This year's show held in Denver in early October was no exception. But it also had a lot of really cool stuff that could be purchased by any agency and even by individual officers.
Here's a quick look at some of the latest and greatest products that caught the eyes of our staff as they walked the aisles of the show.
5.11 Tactical Patrol Duty Uniform
The new Patrol Duty Uniform (PDU) from 5.11 Tactical has a Teflon coating that makes it pretty much stainproof. How stainproof? In a demonstration video shown at the product announcement, an officer wearing the uniform splashed himself with mud, then hosed off his uni to make it sparkling clean and dry.
Available in Class A and Class B versions for both men and women, the PDU sells for $99 for the pant and shirt combo. The PDU is machine washable and will withstand 50 washes with no fading or shrinking.
Features include bi-swing shoulders, armpit vents, a built-in mic cord pass through, adjustable cuffs, a flat front, cargo pockets (Class B), a hidden document pocket, and permanent creases.
Blauer Super Shirt
Blauer's Super Shirt features reflective flaps that remain hidden until you need them. If you're on a traffic stop on a dark road, you can unfold them from the front pockets, arms, and collar. But that's not the only thing that makes the "Super Shirt" non-traditional. Hidden pockets behind the visible front pockets comfortably fit a TASER, mesh side panels improve fit and function, and the shirt is easy to put on and remove thanks to a front zipper closure covered by a placket with mock buttons for a traditional look.
Chevrolet Caprice PPV
"Can you imagine this baby in your rearview mirror?" General Motors executive Jim Campbell said as he unveiled the prototype of the 2011 Chevy Caprice PPV at IACP. The sleek, rear-wheel drive Caprice will be available in two configurations: a six-cylinder and a 355-hp V8. Chevy promises sub-six second 0-60 acceleration and outstanding fuel economy. The Caprice is built on the same platform as Chevy's new Camaro and it features Active Fuel Management, which drops out four of the engine's eight cylinders when cruising.
FLIR H-Series Thermal Camera
Mention infrared around any cop and you'll get basically the same reaction: "Cool stuff. But it costs a mint." It used to be that thermal night vision systems were substantially more expensive than light amplification night vision systems. Now that's not necessarily the case. FLIR's new H-Series compact tactical thermal night vision camera lists for $4,999. This system is ideal for law enforcement. It can see people and animals through smoke and fog and in total darkness; it can tell you if a car has been driven by checking the heat of the engine; and it can even help you find a recently discarded and warm weapon at night. Images can be captured on an SD card and downloaded into any computer with a USB connection.
Fechheimer Vertx Polos with Coldblack
Fechheimer's Vertx brand, pronounced "vur-tex," consists of apparel for tactical operators. A new addition to this line is the company's Action Polo with Coldblack. The Coldblack finish reflects up to 80 percent of the sun's rays, making dark colors feel like light, according to Vertx. Coldblack also provides UV protection of at least 30. Vertx Action Polos are made with a no-fade performance fabric with anti-microbial finish and, despite the name "Coldblack," they come in several colors: navy, black, white, and silver tan. Red is expected to be available in the Spring.
Freelinc FreeMotion 100
Freelinc's FreeMotion 100 wireless system is a natural fit for covert operations because of its small single ear "headset" that looks like an earpiece many use to talk on a cell phone. A small push-to-talk switch on the earpiece is discreet and easy to use. The system uses Freelinc's Near Field Magnetic Induction (NFMI) technology to provide secure wireless communication via two-way radio. An assortment of ear wires and gels provide comfort and a secure fit for either the right or left ear. The FreeMotion 100 will operate up to 20 continuous hours on a single charge and can be used with existing FreeLinc systems.
Global Pathogen Solutions Stun Gun Dart Remover
Electronic Control devices (ECDs), also known as stun guns, can end a situation with less-lethal means at a safe distance from a subject. But removing the barbed darts from a subject is a risky business. Not only does being accidentally pricked by a barb hurt, any contaminants from blood left on the darts can infect an officer with all manner of pathogens.
The D.A.R.T. Pro Kit and X-Tractor Tips from Global Pathogen Solutions are designed to remove the darts without any direct contact. Called the Dart Acquiring and Removal Tool, the D.A.R.T. is a handheld device with two detachable chambers that retract the darts inside and then can be removed to safely transport the darts for evidence.
Harris Communications Unity Radios
Almost every law enforcement first responder has been there: All hell is breaking loose around you; you're trying to talk to a dispatcher or fellow officer, and nobody can hear you and you can't hear them. Harris Communications' new Project 25-compliant Unity XG-100 multiband radio has astounding noise suppression software. As demonstrated at IACP, you can hear whispers over this thing amid all the noise of a major incident scene.
Agencies concerned about saving fuel lost to idling emergency vehicles may want to take a look at Havis' new IdleRight. This innovative and inexpensive system lets officers turn off their engines without worrying about battery drain from emergency lights. IdleRight monitors the charge of the battery, and when it falls below a certain threshold the system turns on the vehicle's engine to recharge the battery. When the battery is strong enough, the system turns off the engine.
ICX Technologies Fido Verdict
Using Raman spectroscopy technology, ICX's Fido Verdict can detect explosives, narcotics, and their precursor chemicals. Raman spectroscopy technology minimizes the user's exposure to the dangerous chemicals. Fido Verdict is handheld, lists for $16,000, and is capable of analyzing bottled liquids, gels, powders, and solids in less than 30 seconds.
Leica Geosystems ScanStation C10
Scans produced by Leica's ScanStation C10 3D laser scanner have a "you are there" quality that makes them extremely useful for investigators and prosecutors. Both a panoramic camera and a 3D laser scanner, the ScanStation C10 quickly digitizes accident and crime scenes to produce a panoramic image, which can be used to make precise measurements even long after the scene has been released. The ScanStation C10 is also used to create crime scene panoramas on the A&E TV show "Crime 360."
Peacekeeper International Guardian Eclipse Launcher
Peacekeeper International is best known for making batons, but its new less-lethal projectile launcher may change that. The Guardian Eclipse is a six-shot 40mm launcher that uses air to propel projectiles such as OC powder and impact rounds. There is no muzzle flash. The launcher can be fired point of aim up to 80 feet. It has a muzzle velocity of 275 feet per second and is scaleable for distance.
Go to any crowd control situation and chances are you'll see officers armed with PepperBall launchers. The company's paintball-like impact round is very popular and very effective. Now PepperBall is selling a personal protection device, a one-shot quick reload system with an effective range of 12 feet. The HotShot produces a cloud of chemical irritant designed to give civilians or officers the ability to escape a dangerous situation. HotShot fits easily on a belt, and it can be rapidly reloaded.
Silver Eagle Manufacturing Portable Barricade
The Mobile Crowd Control Barrier from Silver Eagle Manufacturing had its debut at IACP. Even though it wasn't fully deployed, its sheer size was impressive to see on the show floor. Transportable by standard police SUVs, the barrier installs from and stores on its own trailer, so no additional transport trailers or loading time is necessary before deployment. It takes just four minutes for two police officers to erect the 44-foot-wide, 8.2-foot-high full protection blockade. The barrier features anti-scaling overhangs to prevent people from climbing over it, making it useful as a protective barrier for tactical teams as well as for crowd control and blocking crime scenes from public view.
The Nova-Lite is a combination of a Honda EB-3000 portable generator and 500-watt quartz halogen emergency lights. With a runtime of six to nine hours, the generator-light combination is ideal for major incident scenes. The lights rotate to any angle and can telescope to a height of 82 inches. The entire rig is built into a wheeled dolly and weighs 140 pounds.
Thales Liberty Multiband Radio
With so many bands being used for public safety radio transmissions, communication can get complicated. Thales Communications' Liberty multiband Land Mobile Radio (LMR) allows federal, state, local, and U.S. Department of Defense agencies to communicate across all of the public safety bands using a single portable radio.
Liberty radios are about the same size and weight as single-band portable LMRs and are designed to meet all public safety specifications. Smaller agencies with legacy systems can use Liberty radios to tap into a larger state network, and any agency can hold onto a cache of them for use in emergencies when multi-agency teamwork is often needed.
The Earphone Connection Covert Surveillance Kit
Perfect for undercover operations, The Earphone Connection's Snake Ultimate Surveillance Kit includes a low-profile highly sensitive microphone that covertly clips under a simple T-shirt, while the audio jack resembles iPod earbuds. With your hands in your pocket, you can inconspicuously access the belt-clip PTT button. With almost everyone walking around with an iPod these days, this kit will help you blend into the crowd.
Trikke Tech Three-Wheeled Vehicle
A new three-wheeled electric-powered vehicle from Trikke (pronounced "trike," like the standard abbreviation of tricycle) allows an officer to maneuver through a crowd and dismount in a snap if necessary. A cambering device lets the rider move side to side to carve deep turns, which is described as similar to skiing.
Built on top of the company's rugged T8Air chassis, the Tribred uses a lightweight, hot-swappable Lithium Ion power supply that can be recharged in your car. The Tribred can travel 18 mph on flat ground and offers up to 20 miles of range per charge. The average cost of a full charge is roughly seven cents, according to the company.
At just 38 pounds, the Trikke Tribred can be easily folded and transported in the trunk of a police car. This means it can be quickly delivered to the scene of an event, unfolded in seconds, and deployed when needed.
Uncle Mike's Eagle Gear
Eagle Gear from Uncle Mike's Law Enforcement is made to comfortably fit on the hips, whether you're a man or a woman. Developed with input from a female trainer, the line includes a duty belt that's curved to follow the hips and waist and padded to prevent bruising and pain that can be caused by a belt hitting hip bones.
What makes the gear in this line so great is that each case easily unsnaps and slides off, without disturbing the other cases on the belt. The entire line is available in basketweave, nylon, and plain.
U.S. Night Vision ATAC 360°
ATAC stands for "Advanced Thermal Acquisition Camera." It's a high-resolution thermal imaging system that allows officers to see in total darkness. The system mounts on top of a patrol vehicle and offers 360 degrees of rotation and 135 degrees of tilt. It uses a 320 x 240 resolution FLIR camera and can see man-sized targets at 1,500 feet. The ATAC 360° is enclosed in a weatherproof housing that is UV ray and saltwater resistant for both land and sea applications.