Start the New Year strong with a new body camera and dash camera. The Bureau of Justice Administration estimates that between 4,000 and 6,000 law enforcement agencies are planning to adopt or already adopted body worn cameras. Both of these pieces of equipment help make law enforcement officers’ jobs easier. Below are some of the top sellers to help you decide if you’re looking to get an upgrade this year. Continue reading New Body Worn and Dash Cameras
Welcome to police work! You’ve made it through the rigorous physical training and stressful testing. Now it is time to prepare for your first day on duty, and to purchase the proper equipment for your duty belt. Each piece of your equipment will be a huge part of your entire career.
Know your duty belt like the back of your hand. You should be able to reach down and grab anything you need with ease, at any given moment. The goal of proper placement of duty belt equipment is to assure you that everything can be located and ascertained as second nature – like an extension of your own body. This way, in a situation, you can grab and return each piece of equipment without taking your eyes off the suspect or what you are doing.
Here are a few necessary items to run through and some pointers for each piece of equipment.
Starting from the front center and moving towards your strong side, the first item from the center point is your handcuff case. This is placed here so that it can be accessed from either hand. Many officers make the mistake of carrying the handcuffs behind their firearm. If your weapon was out, covering a subject, and you need to retrieve the handcuffs, you have to either holster the weapon or use your strong hand to obtain the cuffs.
Handcuffs have the power to act as a defensive weapon if needed during a physical altercation and since this is the perfect location, there is no reaching around to locate.
Again, it is accessible by either hand and the transition from spray to firearm is easy when utilizing this location. It can also spray from the case if necessary.
On either side of the holster should be a belt keeper. This will help secure the holster to your body. With the proper handgun retention, and a triple secure holster, the weapon will be protected.
Keep nothing behind the holster. There have been reports of police equipment moving on the duty belt and sliding behind the holster. Depending on the type of holster, this item prevented the weapon from being drawn.
Moving to the non-firearm side of your belt, the first item is your magazine pouches. The magazines are facing forward and nothing is blocking the quick removable and reloading of these important tools. Look for a magazine holder that has hidden snap closings to protect your gear, if needed.
The next piece of equipment is the cross-draw TASER. Cross-draw design should be used for a TASER, to prevent confusion with your firearm.
In addition, the TASER can be drawn when in cross-draw location by either hand. On either side of the TASER are the belt keepers.
With the ear piece secured by a small strap around the ear and under the ear lobe, this will become a critical safety tool for you. Only you will be able to hear what is being transmitted. It’s light-weight and out-of-the-way.
After a belt keeper, should be an expandable baton followed by one last keeper. This completes the duty belt, but not your duty equipment!
Tips and information from PoliceOne
Traffic-related incidents are one of the leading causes of Line-Of-Duty deaths. Between automobile/motorcycle/bicycle crashes, and the potential to be struck on the side of the road while on duty, the deaths are increasingly disturbing. The safety of these men and women who respond to emergencies on our nation’s streets, roads and highways is of the utmost importance.
The Division of State and Provincial Police, among other safety advocates, recognizes the seriousness and the persistence of this problem and is committed to finding ways to ensure the safety of law enforcement officers while they are out on the roads. The more visible a firefighter or police officer is, the better chance a driver has to slow down and move over. The ANSI published standards for high-visibility clothing in 1999. The standard defines three classes of successively more-visible garments, to protect workers exposed to successively higher levels of risk from motor vehicles and heavy equipment.
- Class 1: Activities that are relatively low hazard from slow-moving vehicles, for example, in a parking lot. Garments must have retroreflective strips 1 inch wide and a minimum of 217 square inches of fluorescent material.
- Class 2: Activities that take place in proximity to vehicles moving up to 25 miles per hour, for example, railway workers or school crossing guards. The standard requires reflective bands of greater width and 755 square inches of conspicuously colored fabric.
- Class 3: Activities that take place near traffic moving faster than 25 miles per hour, for example, highway construction. The standard requires at least 1240 square inches of fluorescent fabric, and two-inch retrorefector bands. Only very large vests have enough area to meet this standard, so full sleeves may be required.
There are a variety of different vests to help workers be seen with more ease.
- For the sheriff, it is important to have a tactical vest with multiple capabilities. It should include utility pouches, a radio pouch, mic clips, among other features.
- For security, the vest should be reflective and have 4-season adjustability that allows for accurate sizing in any weather, even over bulky coats.
- For EMS, the vest should be reflective with a 5 point breakaway system. It should include hook and loop closures and radio pockets.
- For a selection of all high visibility vests, click here!
Officers, road workers, emergency responders and firefighters serve tirelessly to protect us and our communities; it’s time we do our best to protect them too.
Interest in police body cameras has skyrocketed like never before. Body cameras can supplement what is already recorded by in-car cameras, which can only show what is occurring directly in front of or inside a cruiser. “It’s not only for the protection of the community, it’s also for the protection of the officer,” says Sheriff Jeff Cappa of Wayne County. The video recording eliminates uncertainty about what exactly happened between an officer and member of the public.
David Klinger, criminologist at the University of Missouri-St. Louis points out that, police officers are humans too. “They react just as others who are involved in stressful life-threatening situations. This tells us we need to understand how it is that these events are experienced before we can pass judgment on an officer.” Here are a few facts that make this wearable technology hugely important in modern day crime-fighting.
1. Body Worn Cameras Improve Behavior: Body Cameras act as an objective third party, improving the behavior of all parties during police interactions, and keeping everyone accountable. The documentation of citizen and officer behavior of an event supports overall transparency.
2. Low Light Recording: Low light recording best shows what the human eye actually sees, making for a real depiction of the story itself.
3. Body Cameras Are Worn All The Time: They are on all the time, streaming data but not recording until a button is activated. Agency policy gives direction to officers when to activate the recording device. Recordings are evidence or official record and NOT used as a surveillance tool.
4. The VIEVU2 Squared Body Worn Camera is an Investment Well Made: This body camera is a compact and wearable camera that is easy to use with hands-free operation. This valuable piece of equipment includes its own smartphone app that lets your record, edit and share video. It comes with a camera, USB cable, anti-theft tag, spring clip and quick-start guide.
FINALLY, the holidays have arrived. It’s time for classic holiday movies, colorful gingerbread houses, and extravagant fire department light shows! We’ve compiled a list of our favorite light shows for your entertainment! We hope you enjoy and stay safe this bright holiday season.
Little Creek Vol. Fire Co, 2013
This video is an excerpt from their annual company video.
Montesano Fire Department, 2011
This department decided to decorate their ladder truck for the local Festival of Lights Parade. This was their first attempt at putting lights to music. There was over 10,000 lights and about 200 hours dedicated to this project.
Fort Lee Fire Department, 2007
This effort was part of the Christmas Lights Lane Goldstein.
Long Hill Fire Department, Station 20, 2010
Long Hill Fire Department’s Satellite 203 ‘Santa’s Sleigh’ decorated and ready to go at the 2010 Wallington NJ Holiday Parade.
St. Marys Fire Department, 2011
The City of St. Marys puts on a light show in preparation for “Letters to Santa 2011.”
The Colony Fire Department, 2011
This is an excerpt from the Christmas Light Show Spectacular.
Last week, President Obama pledged $75 million to help police departments implement body cameras, in an effort to improve relations between law enforcement and minority communities. Body cameras may help serve as an objective record of police encounters, ultimately working to get to the bottom of every story with ease. In situations like these, it is critical that both officers and community members be accountable for their actions. But, body cameras aren’t the only new piece of devices being used to address the matter. Here are some emerging technologies that are being investigated:
Drone cameras can be operated at a distance, giving them an advantage over smartphone recordings, or body cameras. One Bay Area man, Daniel Saulmon, uses a drone to film activity, in an effort to monitor police DUI checkpoints and traffic stops.
Police also have begun using drones to survey traffic, disaster areas, and active shooter scenarios. But privacy issues have kept them from catching on more widely. The San Jose, CA police department grounded its drone after civilians raised concerns over police surveillance. Police agreed not to operate the drone until guidelines and use policies were established.
Smart Gun Technology
A Silicon Valley startup company called Yardarm Technologies, developed smart gun technology that tracks police firearms and records when they’re discharged. The technology notifies dispatchers when an officer removes his or her weapon from its holster, if it’s fired, the direction of the officer’s shots, and where the gun is located. Santa Cruz County Sheriff Department is one of two agencies testing the Internet and Bluetooth-linked technology.
Another smart gun technology, ShotSpotter, uses microphones planted within an allotted area to automatically identify gunshots fired. When detected, the system alerts the police department of when and where the shots were fired. Police departments using ShotSpotter rely on it to respond to shootings more quickly, but the technology can also be used to verify a story during a shooting. However, this technology cannot decipher between who the gunfire came from, police or civilian. “Do we capture officer-involved shootings? We capture shootings. Outdoors and where we’re deployed,” says ShotSpotter’s CEO Ralph Clark.
Planning ahead can help make this Halloween a safe one. The National Fire Safety Association reiterates the importance of taking simple fire safety precautions, like making sure fabrics for costumes and decorative materials are flame-resistant.
- When choosing a costume, stay clear of billowing or long trailing fabrics, as they are more likely to catch fire. If your child’s costume includes a mask, be sure that the eye holes are large enough to see out of clearly.
- Encourage your community and your children to use battery operated candles or flashlights as opposed to real, open flame candles to avoid the risk of a fire. Streamlight flashlights are a safe and reliable choice.
- If you choose to use real candles, be sure that children are watched closely around the flames. Practice fire safety with your children, such as “Stop, drop and roll.”
- Check that all exits are clear of decorations in case of a fire emergency where a quick escape is required. Be sure that lit pumpkins are well away from anything that can burn easily, and far enough away from trick-or-treaters, front doors and walkways.
- Provide children in your community with whistles, so they can be found more easily in the case of an emergency.
- Consider investing in a first aid medical kit, so you can be prepared to take action if need be.
Galls wishes you a safe and happy Halloween!
From October 5th – October 11th, Galls will be recognizing Fire Prevention Week and focusing in on the importance of working smoke detectors in every home and facility. Two thirds of home fire deaths each year result from homes with no smoke alarms or faulty smoke alarms. According to the National Fire Protection Association, working smoke alarms cut the chance of dying in a fire in half.
While it is crucial to be cautious of fire hazards year-round, taking the time to walk through these steps once a year could save your life. This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign includes the following messages:
- Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each distinct sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement.
- Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. This way, when one sounds, they all do.
- Test alarms at least monthly by pushing the test button.
- Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old or sooner if they don’t respond properly.
- Make sure everyone in the home knows the sound of the smoke alarm and understands what to do when they hear it.
Galls encourages fire departments around the country to educate their local communities and school systems of the importance of fire safety and education. Here are a few ways your department can get involved:
- Volunteer to give presentations at local schools about home fire safety and what to do in the case of an emergency. Let students examine a home smoke detector so they can become familiar with how they work.
- Host a free event at your local fire department with food and music to bring awareness to Fire Prevention Week. Supply smoke detectors at the event for community members.
- Be sure that your department is active on social media, and posting daily throughout Fire Prevention Week with helpful tips and tools for the community. Encourage your audience to share the valuable information with loved ones.
The power of social media is monumental. It has seeped into just about every industry and service there is out there – one being Law Enforcement. The use of social media has become a key factor in investigations and communication.
Let’s break it down a little. Social media is a means of two–way communication in which the user interacts with a media source. Year after year social media sites continue to grow exponentially. We don’t see this trend stopping any time soon. Past statistics show that Twitter grew from 75 million registered users in 2010 to 175 million in 2011. Naturally it has integrated into every day life, socially and professionally.
Departments that create a presence on social media sites create a unique sense of communication with the general public, in which real time information can be released. Robert D. Stuart points out, “Social media can provide an invaluable source of information for investigators. Criminals will use social media to share information about their whereabouts and those of their associates. They also have been known to share photos and videos of their criminal acts. Such electronic information can help apprehend fugitives, single out associate suspects, link individuals to street gangs, and provide evidence of criminal activity.”
Social media should be treated just as any other enforcement/investigative tool – with the appropriate training. While social media offers many advantages it can also discredit your department if poorly utilized. Criminals also have the ability to capitalize on private information that is publicly shared by law enforcement officials. It is crucial to take the time to give your department the proper training prior to the integration of social media. Consider bringing in a social media specialist to give your department a broad knowledge base so you can be sure to get the most out of it.
It’s no secret – Social Media has taken on a life of its own. From connecting with peers, to discussing with groups of similar interests, to a means of education, to promoting an entire business, Social Media has allowed us to interact with the world on a different level.
So the question remains, if Social Media has proven to drastically improve communication, how could it serve Law Enforcement? Michael Doyle, a lieutenant in California, pondered this same question when commanding a large tactical unit. Doyle put it to the test during the surveillance of a suspect in which immediate action was required. Instead of performing a standard call-out, where he’d call a slew of numbers, Doyle simply “Facebook’ed” his team. The call-out was successful and the suspect was apprehended.
This isn’t the only way in which Social Media can contribute to Law Enforcement causes. Let’s take a missing person report. If a unit needs to act quick during an investigation, Facebook can be used to spread the word and information in a quick and efficient manner. Simply take a photograph of the person’s picture with a cell phone, and quickly upload it to Facebook. No need for flyers. Reach 20,000 people with one quick click.
Now that we know there is major potential, how else could Social Media serve Law Enforcement and the safety of our nation? It is time to get creative.