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Batteries and Imaging

Written by Kevin Gordon

NEC Corp. announced the development of an ultra-thin, flexible battery that can be recharged in just 30 seconds. This foldable battery is 0.012 inches thick and supports tens of thousands of signal transmissions on a single charge. The new battery is made of a type of plastic and has no harmful metals. The potential for this is exciting. It is already being considered for uses from tags that trace retail goods to smartcards and intelligent paper to permitting carriers to walk right through a ticket gate without stopping because of the lightweight electronic fare pass in their pocket.

This new battery technology has the attention of some in law enforcement who are concerned it might be used for other purposes, such as powering improvised explosive devices worn by a person. On the other hand, think of the potential of such a battery for tactical units, special functions and even patrol officers. A battery so light it is almost unnoticeable and that can be recharged in seconds! This product isn’t ready for such uses yet, but it is an amazing breakthrough, and such products evolve quickly.

Digital Imaging for Safe Schools

In an effort to make our schools more secure, the Virginia counties of Arlington and Fairfax have partnered with the IACP in a project funded by NIJ. Digital images of the schools, both exterior and interior, were taken to create a virtual school. During a critical incident, these pictures, along with floor plans and maps, stored on a CD or secure Web site, are available to the first responders to help develop a tactical response to any incident.

This partnership resulted in downloadable guides that every administrator should review. Digital Imaging for Safe Schools is a 28-page guide that provides step-by-step instructions for creating a simple, cost-effective method for capturing three-dimensional images on CD. It is not written for the professional photographer but instead for that officer or civilian employee who may know very little about photography other than how to use his home digital camera and who is suddenly presented with the task of gathering digital images of schools in the jurisdiction. A quick reference guide is also available.

Part 1 of the guide is set up for the chief of police and explains his role. Part 2 is for the project manager and explains the PM role, needed equipment, suggested contacts, etc. Part 3 provides the five basic steps of digital photography. These steps are as follows: Check the camera, check the lighting, frame the shot, capture the images, and save the images. Part 4 presents how to integrate the school floor plans and maps with the digital images and how to create a CD. Part 5 is a resource guide.

Think of the benefits of being able to view 360 degrees of the entire campus and any classroom. This is not real time, but you instantly know the layout of that class, the hallway, administration offices, etc.

Assign one officer for a few days during the summer to take digital images of your schools. At the very least, you could save these images on a CD and place them on a secure location on your Web site. Properly label the schools, classrooms and compass direction so as not to cause confusion down the line.

For example, make a CD for each school with folders for each floor and within those folders, a folder for each room. That might not be a really sophisticated system, but think how important it is compared with the alternative of nothing! This is a great summer project. You can get the pictures while the students are gone. It also helps build a great rapport with school administrators.

Then move on to the next project. Consider having the same digital images on hand for any high-profile or at-risk building in your community…post office, banks, pharmacies, city hall, etc.

Kevin Gordon spent 25 years in law enforcement and retired as a chief of police. He is a national and regional officer of the International Police Association. He can be reached at Kevin@KGordon.com.

Published in Law and Order, Jul 2006

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