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Police

Spy Gear

NYPD developing portable body scanner for detecting concealed weapons

You have to feel sorry for the police officers who are required to frisk people for guns or knives – after all, if someone who doesn’t want to be arrested is carrying a lethal weapon, the last thing that most of us would want to do is get close enough to that person to touch them. That’s why the New York Police Department teamed up with the United States Department of Defense three years ago, and began developing a portable scanner that can remotely detect the presence of a gun on a person’s body. The NYPD announced the project yesterday.Read More

Military

UK police testing laser rifle to blind rioters

After riots this past summer left parts of the UK in shambles, it's no wonder that police in that part of the world are looking for new methods of crowd control. Since the usual methods for subduing rioters were seen as largely ineffective against their sheer numbers at the time, police have been looking into new tactics as well as non-lethal weapons to replace the standard tasers and tear gas. To that end, the next time someone tries to loot a store in England, they may find themselves literally struck blind thanks to a new riot laser currently being tested called the "SMU 100."Read More

Military

Ballistic Clipboard holds papers, stops bullets

Although police officers in most countries are issued bulletproof vests, they don’t necessarily wear them at all times – would you want to heave one of those things around for an entire shift? What they do often carry, however, are clipboards. Taking the “every little bit helps” approach, Ohio’s IMPACT Armor Technologies has put two and two together, and come up with something that should actually offer some protection – a Ballistic Clipboard.Read More

Urban Transport

T3 Non-Lethal Response Vehicle uses no gas, but really goes through the rubber bullets

When people are looking into buying an electric vehicle, they typically ask questions like "What sort of range does it get?", "How big is its battery?" or "How long does it take to charge?". They don't usually ask "How many guns does it have?". In the case of T3 Motion's new T3 Non-Lethal Response Vehicle (NLRV), however, that would be a legitimate inquiry. The three-wheeled stand-up EV is designed for police use in riots or violent protests, and it in fact has two semi-automatic launchers, capable of shooting non-lethal ammo at a rate of 700 rounds per minute.Read More

Good Thinking

Software developed to match police sketches to mug shots

We’ve seen it in numerous TV shows and movies – the witness to a crime looks through a book of mug shots, then works with a police sketch artist to come up with a likeness of the nasty person they saw. After looking through hundreds of mug shots, however, it’s possible that the tired-brained witness could look right at a photo of the guilty party and not recognize them. It’s also possible that there is a mug shot of the criminal on a database somewhere out there, but that this particular witness will never see it. A computer system being pioneered at Michigan State University, however, could be the solution to such problems – it automatically matches faces in police sketches to mug shots.Read More

Urban Transport

Mobile automated system detects traffic violations

In July of 2008, the European Union launched ASSETT (Advanced Safety and Driver Support for Essential Road Transport), a program aimed at reducing accidents caused by traffic rule violations. It involves a consortium of 19 partner organizations in 12 countries, but it boils down to one thing thing for European drivers – the police will be handing out more tickets. In order to cover a larger number of vehicles, while making things easier for officers and more fair for motorists, VTT Technical Research Center of Finland is currently testing a mobile system that monitors traffic and notes when infractions occur.Read More

Science

Rapid DNA testing technology to put a faster finger on crime

DNA testing has provided the biggest revolution in the identification of criminals since the adoption of fingerprinting in the early part of last century. Still, the technology has limitations. Most genetic tests take 24-72 hours but the time taken for DNA to go from crime scene to identification can span as long as 14 days. By the time that the results are back, the suspects often have been released. A newly developed test could make checking DNA from people arrested for crimes against DNA samples from crime scenes stored in forensics databases almost as easy as matching fingerprints.Read More

Military

Don't daze me, bro! Police experiment with non-lethal Dazer Laser

Criminals across America could be just about to see the light… the Dazer Laser, a non-lethal weapon that shines disorienting, nauseating bursts of intense green laser light into a target's eyes, has gone into police trials across the Northern states. It's been shown to have no lasting effects (unlike previous infra-red versions that could cause permanent blindness), it's as easy to use as shining a flashlight in somebody's eyes, and it offers police the ability to temporarily blind a threat as they move to subdue it. At the very least, if the Dazer Laser joins the Taser in operation, it'll make the average cop's equipment list sound a bit more like a Dr. Seuss poem.Read More

Automotive

SCARAB Police Chase Assistant concept

You’ve gotta hand it to Industrial Design students. They have the youth and imagination to come up with some really intriguing ideas, along with the skills and tools to give us tantalizing glimpses of what those ideas might actually look like. Case in point: The Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design’s recent graduate Carl Archambeault, and his Scarab concept. Read More

Good Thinking

Novel process lifts fingerprints based on geometry, not chemistry

If shows like CSI have taught us anything about lifting fingerprints, it’s that we do it by dusting them with powder or fuming them with chemicals... and that we have to turn on blue accent lighting and play moody electronic music while we’re doing it. Approaches like these rely on chemical reactions with the deposited finger skin oil to provide the print. A new method developed at Penn State University, however, lets the physical geometry of the print do the talking. The oils are left unaltered, which could make all the difference in a criminal investigation.Read More

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