Google Glass To The Rescue

Patrick JacksonWhen it comes to Google Glass, I think we are all wondering the same thing. What real value does Google Glass serve in our society? Do we really need to be “connected” 24/7? Thanks to innovators such as Patrick Jackson, the answer is Yes.

Patrick Jackson, a computer savvy firefighter in North Carolina, has developed an app for Google Glass that transmits crucial information to the forefront of an emergency in the blink of an eye. “I’ll hear a little notification and can look up into the top corner of my vision and see a map of where it is,” says Jackson. “I see the location of the incident and what type of call it is.”

During a crisis, every millisecond counts. This app will allow firemen to access dispatch information without having to reach for their radios or phones. So while some people may see Google Glass as a distraction, Jackson sees it as a way to use time efficiently. Eventually, Jackson plans on adding more features such as information of buildings including blueprints, building hazards and contact information.

The idea first came to him at a Google Glass convention. “They had a video of some guy diving out of a blimp wearing Glass and riding a bike into the conference,” Jackson said. “Right then I started thinking about uses for the firefighter.”

Google Glass doesn’t exactly have the best track record. There has been a ton of controversy over whether or not we will use it in a way that will benefit society. Thanks to innovators such as Jackson, Google Glass will certainly be of paramount importance as a 21st century technology.

What is the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program?

The Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) is a federal initiative designed to help with joint emergency preparedness between federal, state and local agencies. first responder training system

HSEEP is a capabilities and performance-based exercise program which provides a standardized policy, methodology, and terminology for exercise design, development, conduct, evaluation, and improvement planning.  Its mission is to ensure that exercise programs conform to established best practices and helps provide unity and consistency of effort for exercises at all levels of government.

Exercises allow homeland security and emergency management personnel, from first responders to senior officials, to train and practice prevention, protection, response, and recovery capabilities in a realistic but risk-free environment. Exercises are also a valuable tool for assessing and improving performance, while demonstrating community resolve to prepare for major incidents.

HSEEP is a collection of systems and tools that were developed so that federal, state and local agencies could better work together when creating training for potential large scale domestic disasters.

HSEEP is comprised of the following systems and tools:

  • National Exercise Schedule System
  • Design and Development System
  • Exercise Evaluation Guide Builder
  • Master Scenario Events List Builder
  • Corrective Action Program System
  • HSEEP Data Exchange Standards

More information about these systems and tools can be found at the HSEEP website at the Department of Homeland Security.

The value of bringing together the resources and knowledge of so many first responder agencies is varied – the benefits include:

  • Providing access to information and shared learning
  • Create best practices, catalog them, and make them available
  • Create integration between agencies
  • Increase the effectiveness of planning & the results of actual execution

As outlined in the Journal of The Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Security, programs like the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program are effective tools that manage to provide solutions to many challenges and lend support to a variety of shared goals.

Planning — Exercises provide a structure to advance planning for a particular incident scenario, identifying problems and explore their solutions in focused way.

Interagency Coordination — Exercises can act as a venue for members of different agencies to meet and interact, to build relationships that are important to effective coordination in a real event, to identify issues potentially falling in gaps of authority, jurisdiction, etc., to test mechanisms and technologies for interagency information sharing that might seldom be used in routine events, and to identify if there are agencies “missing” from plans that would be needed at a large scale disaster, accident, or terrorist attack.

Public Education — Exercises can act as an “event” that, by being covered by the media and discussed publically, makes it possible to teach the public about the capabilities of response systems, creates the opportunity to educate them about preparedness actions they could take, and informs them about preparedness efforts of their local, state, or the federal government.

Training — Exercises can make it possible to expose response staff to rare incidents and their unique demands — rather than their encountering them for the first time at a real emergency. Such simulations make it possible to teach responders or volunteers specific tasks, practice equipment use, and to learn or refresh other knowledge specific to an unusual incident.

Evaluation — Exercises have been used to evaluate emergency preparedness activities in a variety of ways. Such evaluations range from very broad, qualitative assessments (e.g., ensuring all significant issues were considered in planning) to very detailed, quantitative studies (e.g., directly measuring the patient throughput of a medical facility). More elaborate and realistic evaluative exercises have the potential to assess not just that a preparedness plan can be executed, but how well it can be put into practice under the simulated conditions of the exercise scenario.

Full access to the report from above, Preparedness Exercises 2.0: Alternative Approaches to Exercise Design That Could Make Them More Useful for Evaluating — and Strengthening — Preparedness, can be found online at HSAJ.org.

The Purpose Of Police Foundations

Police Foundationsalmost every mid-size city and major city has one. why police foundations exist

These foundations play a beneficial role by offering resources to local law enforcement agencies.

Quite often, agencies and police departments are limited by budgets. They are challenged to provide quality services with limited resources.

Police foundations exist to provide departments extra resources – money, technology, training, etc. -  that they may not otherwise be able to access.

Police Foundations are typically private organizations that offer grants to the public agencies they serve. They are generally independent and don’t have influence over public policy or seek to manage the agencies they serve. They exist to provides resources that may not be available through traditional means.

Foundations offer:

  • Financial resources
  • Access to technology, training
  • Indirectly help in crime prevention

The Los Angeles Police Foundation exists to enhance the efficiency and modernization of the LAPD that will help keep our communities and families safe.

The New York City Police Foundation was created to promote excellence in the NYPD and improve public safety in New York City.

The Atlanta Police Foundation seeks to complement the Atlanta Police Department’s vision of becoming the safest large city in America…and provide programs that address the need for more police visibility and improved police operations.

How can you or your family become involved with your local police foundation? Most foundations seek ongoing monetary donations. Some also offer the opportunity to volunteer at special events – police balls, fundraisers, charity events, etc.

Why should you donate time or money? Donations made are a way for you to help out in your community. A stronger police force with a variety of services and offerings means a safer community for you and your family.

 

 

 

Galls 3-in-1 System Jacket Offers Multi-Use Functionality

The Galls 3-in-1 System Jacket is perfect for cold-weather work, milling around the station or weekend wear with the family.

Durable Jackets for Cops

Galls 3-in-1 Jacket - Great for Cold Weather Conditions!

Now that is versatility!

The Galls 3-in-1 System Jacket offers the ultimate in functionality. You can wear the fleece by itself or you can wear the outer shell alone. When you need the functionality of both pieces, you can wear them together for full weather protection!

Fleece Alone! The comfortable fleece is lightweight, designed to keep you warm without being stuffy. Fleece wicks away mist and drizzle, drying quickly when needed. Layered over long-sleeved uniform shirts and even sweaters, the fleece offers warmth and comfort. You’ll have full-range of movement available to you. Plus, you’ll look great wearing it!

Fleece Jacket /Liner:

  • 100% polyester microfleece – warm, soft and durable!
  • Secure zippered hand pockets – keeps your gear in your jacket and not lost on the ground!
  • Adjustable cuffs with Velcro – fits any size wrist, great when you’re wearing a watch and need fast access!
  • Zips into nylon shell for extra protection from wind and rain – another sign of durability!
  • Machine wash and dry – if it get’s dirty, it’s easy to clean!

Outer Shell Alone! The outer shell of the 3-in-1 system is great for light rain and wind protection. A warm windbreaker is a valuable piece of gear to keep stowed in a patrol car trunk or a work truck tool box.

Jacket/Shell:

  • 100% nylon – water and wind roll right off!
  • Water resistant – you’re not getting soaked!
  • 2 secure zippered hand pockets – keeps tactical gear stowed!
  • 3 secure interior pockets for extra storage – more secure, interior pocket space than most jackets!
  • Stow away hood – hood protection when you need it, hidden when you don’t!

Fleece and Shell Together! The jacket is multi-use and multi-functional, perfect for personnel that needs to utilize their gear for whatever challenge is ahead of them. You’ll have the ability to change its use on the fly.

See rain in the forecast? Throw on the outer shell.

Sunny but cold day? Just use the fleece.

Winter weather conditions on the horizon? Make sure you use both the inner and outer layers for full protection.

This jacket is perfect for all public safety officers. Whether you’re on patrol, working in a drafty fire station or tending to injured victims on the scene, this jacket is a great tool. Gear like this is dependable!

Galls’ Customers Nominated for 2012 NAUMD Best Dressed Public Safety Awards!

Galls is pleased to announce that two of its customers, the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Mint Hill, NC Police Department, were recently nominated for awards from the North American Association of Uniform Manufacturers & DistributorsGalls Best Dressed Award 2012

Both agencies are in the running for the 2012 NAUMD Best Dressed Public Safety Award. Per the NAUMD website, this award recognizes the achievement and publicly acknowledges Police Departments, Sheriff’s, Fire Departments and all Public Safety organizations with a focus on excellence in their Uniform Programs.

The 2 categories for consideration are:

Over 200 Officers Category – Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission: The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission manages fish and wildlife resources for the long-term well-being and benefit of the people of Florida.

Under 50 Officers – Mint Hill Police Department:  The Mint Hill PD, located outside of Charlotte, North Carolina was nominated for the Best Dressed Public Safety Award as well. The Mint Hill police department has been providing police services to its community since 2003.

Award winners will be chosen during the 2012 convention Sunday, March 11, at the The Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

Click here for more information on what happens at the NAUMD event.

The North American Association of Uniform Manufacturers & Distributors’ tagline, ‘where function meets style‘ – is a key determinate in its award offerings. Uniforms of winning agencies must portray a professional image, a well put together image. The uniforms must also be functional, allowing the uniformed officers to engage in the full range of of duties that their jobs demand.

 

 

Police Workout Gear for 2012 New Year’s Resolutions

One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions that people make each year is to workout more often. And similarly, many people vow to lose weight or get into better shape. police workouts

If you’re a police officer, your commitment to staying active and healthy is probably more of a year round endeavor as the requirements of your profession demand that you be in good physical shape.

Want some quick tips on how to stay on course with your exercise routines?

  • Make a workout schedule
  • Keep a workout journal
  • Workout with a buddy
  • Build off immediate  successes
  • Remind yourself of the future benefits of working out
  • Don’t beat yourself up over setbacks

At Galls, we try to make it easier on you to enjoy your workouts. We provide apparel and other gear that are specially designed to make you comfortable and confidant.

Here are some great workout clothes that will help keep you on target!

# 1 – Under Armour Charged Cotton T-Shirt

The Under Armour Charged Cotton T-Shirt is an innovative shirt built for cross training and rigorous activity. Great for wearing on the job, going heavy in the gym, or when taking to the outdoors.

  • Ribbed collar for stretch and comfort
  • Double stitch shoulder detailing for durability
  • Dries 5 times faster than ordinary cotton
  • Signature HeatGear moisture transport system keeps you cool, dry, and light
  • Lightweight, 4-way stretch construction improves mobility and preserves fit
  • Full, loose fit for complete range of motion
  • Machine wash and dry

# 2 – 5.11 Performance Training Shorts

5.11 Performance Training Shorts are the perfect workout shorts – they allow for a full range of motion when lifting weight, playing basketball or jogging. Breathability and comfort are the two things you want to look for in a good pair of workout shorts.

  • 100% polyester mesh
  • 10″ inseam
  • Hand pockets
  • Rear, zipper-secured pocket for ID and/or MP3 player features audio port for headphones

# 3 – Galls Fleece Hat

If you’re looking for an all-purpose cap to keep your head warm, the Galls Fleece Hat will do exactly that. Keeping your head warm will help you maintain heat for your entire body – a very important tip when you’re working out in cold weather conditions!

  • Made of soft anti-pill fleece
  • Subdued “G Shield” embroidered logo
  • Machine wash and dry
  • One size fits all

Interested in staying motivated about reaching your goals? Read Top 3 Ways To Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

Got workout tips you want to share? Leave them in the comments section below!

Harvard Research Shows Police Officers Are Not Getting Enough Sleep

According to a recently released report from Harvard University that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers say many police officers across the country are not getting enough sleep.

These findings show that it’s not just a few minutes here or there that officers are missing, but serious chunks of time.

The research tracked the on-duty performance of nearly 5,000 officers within the United States and Canada over a two year time span.

Here are some of the results from the report (per a story from NPR.org):

  • 40 percent of those surveyed had sleep disorders
  • Those who screened positive for a sleep disorder had a 25 percent higher risk of expressing uncontrolled anger to a suspect or citizen, and a 35 percent higher chance of having a citizen complaint filed against them
  • Sleep-deprived officers had 51 percent greater odds of falling asleep while driving on duty
  • One in three officers has sleep apnea – waking up repeatedly because breathing has temporarily stopped. That’s at least 8 times higher than the rate among the general population
  • They had a 43 percent higher chance of making a serious administrative error
  • Sleep-starved officers also reported falling asleep at meetings more often and calling in sick

Like most survey research, the contributing factors are open to interpretation and questioning. However, research like this Harvard report does provide actionable facts and insight that can lead to departments becoming more aware – and responsive to – information that could help them be more efficient.

This report specifically addresses questions of the health impact of sleep apnea, drowsy driving and physical fitness.

To read the full story from NPR, click here.

What are your thoughts? Are officers getting the rest they need to perform well on the job?

Measuring Yourself For Police Body Armor

 

Understanding how to measure yourself for police body armor is important. The way a vest feels on your body is subjective and that feeling is different from person to person.

And although there are one size fits all vests, the best option for you is a customized vest. Remember, police body armor is available in many shapes and styles depending on the manufacturer, but you want a vest made specifically for you.

Customized body armor for a police officer will ensure a few things:

  • Better fit and comfort
  • Appropriate range of motion
  • Freedom of movement while driving, running, etc.
  • Weight, size and bulkiness

So, to guarantee which vest is right for you, what is the proper technique for measuring body armor?

The best way to measure yourself for a new vest is to take a few measurements (it also helps to have someone there to help you measure).

First, measure yourself while wearing just an undershirt. Also, you’ll want to be wearing your duty belt so you know where the vest should sit on your chest and torso. Taking measurements is essentially the same for male and female officers, though female officers may also need to provide their cup and band size.

Measurement 1 – measure your chest:

With the measuring tape, run the tape horizontally around the middle of ribcage. Make sure your chest is in a relaxed state and you are measuring around the fullest part of the chest.

Measurement 2 – measure your torso (stomach/belly area):

This time, measure the fullest part of the torso (your belly area) about an inch above the duty belt.

Measurement 3 – measure your front while standing:

With this measurement, drop the measuring tape from the clavicle (collar bone) downward to the top of the duty belt (or about a 1/2 inch above duty belt). Make sure you are measuring the middle of your chest, not from your shoulders.

Measurement 4 – measure your back while standing:

Measure from the middle of your back – just below neckline of your shirt – to about a 1/2 inch above your duty belt.

Measurement 5 – measure your front while sitting:

Lastly, you’ll want to measure yourself while sitting because you will be driving your patrol car often. So, from a sitting position, measure from the clavicle downward to the top of the duty belt or 1/2 inch above duty belt. This measurement should be smaller than the one you took while standing as your torso contracts while sitting down.

Remember, it’s best to round all measurements up to the nearest whole number.

Need to see a video on how to measure police body armor, click here.  Once you have your measurements, you’re ready to order a customized armor vest.

You can choose from many different types of body armor at Galls.

Are you a female officer? The techniques for measuring are essentially the same.

Do you have any hints or suggestions when it comes to measuring yourself for body armor or life vest? Please share in the comments section below.

 

Night Vision And Thermal Technology Help Catch Bad Guys

Night vision technology, once the sole domain of the military, is increasingly being used by police and other public safety agencies. Law enforcement and SWAT teams have used night vision equipment for years, but only recently has the technology become affordable enough to reach a tipping point.

termal imagery police use

Image from X20.org

As the technology has become more sophisticated and dynamic, it’s also becoming less expensive. This mix of better technology and cheaper technology has allowed for night vision equipment to be purchased by more and more departments across the country. Their application of use is seemingly endless, but the ultimate payoff is that law enforcement has yet another tool for crime prevention and investigation.

And it’s not just police units who are purchasing and using the technology. Private security forces, campus police, fire departments and other public safety agencies are finding useful applications. And naturally, so is the civilian population.

What is night vision?

Very simply, night vision is the ability to see in low light conditions. Modern technology allows for ‘seeing in the dark’ by collecting and magnifying available light (moonlight for example). What once were dark shadows are now recognizable images.

For more information on civilian use of night vision binoculars, click through to the Night Vision Binoculars website.

Read about real life night vision applications: Texas police nab poachers

What is thermal imaging?

Thermal imaging devices read temperature differences (heat or thermal radiation) between objects and then translate them into images. No source of light is needed.

Want to know more about how thermal imaging works? Read more at Compix.com.

Discover real life night vision applications: Virginia State Police use thermal imaging to capture gunman in woods

The ability to catch bad guys is enhanced using technology like this. These types of tools allow for law enforcement to stay one step ahead of most people involved in criminal activity after dark.

For further information regarding the evolution of night vision technology, the US Night Vision website offers some great insight into the history of the technology.

Other manufacturers of night vision and thermal imaging technologies include:

  • American Technologies Network
  • FLIR
  • Insight Technology
  • ICOP
  • Argus
  • Digital Ally, Inc.
  • Zistos Corporation

Is your department or agency using this technology?

3 Public Safety Smartphone Apps for Droid, iPhone and Blackberry

More and more public safety personnel and first responders are using technology to make their jobs easier and their roles within the community more effective. The reliance on technology continues to grow for police officers, fire fighters and EMS because in many ways it allows for greater efficiency and reliability.

smartphone apps for police and ems

Photo from Editorsweblog.org

As you know, protective and investigative services can be enhanced by the use of smartphone applications. Cell phones make it easy to access information, take notes, take photos, connect with others and share with others.

Some of these smartphone features are ones you probably use already – emailing, texting, notetaking and photography. Those features are mainstays and are the ‘bones’ of a good communication and networking strategy within your department.

But what are some other smartphone applications that will help make certain aspects of your job easier?

Evernote: The Evernote system allows you to collect data – take notes, take photos, store web pages and links to pages. It’s all intuitive and simple.

You can share your information and your notes are available everywhere – on your phone, computer and the web, so remote access at any time is a great value. The application should work with iPhones, Droids and Blackberry as well as Kindles and iPads. Click here to see a video that gives a quick overview of how Evernote can work for you whether for work or off-duty purposes.

Google Earth: You’ve probably used Google Earth before to look at your own house or see your parent’s house five states away. Once you get beyond the ‘cool’ aspects of it though, you realize that Google Earth offers a wide range of other informative options including search, search by voice, 3-D views and locational and directional help – all great options when you’re mobile and need information fast. Google Earth works with iPhones, Droids, Blackberry and other phone operating systems.

Weather Channel: The Weather Channel app lets you take the weather with you. Whether we realize it or not, local weather plays a role in how you approach your duties. It’s great to get a handle on local weather patterns, oncoming storms, and forecasts for special events. The Weather Channel app lets you quickly see current and developing weather. This is also available for all phone systems and through all phone carriers.

These three smartphone apps can provide great value to response oriented users who generally need information quickly. And sometimes, accessing that information is accomplished more quickly through your phone.

What other applications work well for police, fire and EMS personnel?

Is there an app that you or your department use often?