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Proceedings Paper

Patrol car and agent tracking/suspect tagging and tracking
Author(s): Steven C. Wilkins
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Paper Abstract

Emerging technologies in the field of law enforcement are providing today's law enforcement personnel with the advantage of an innovative and faster means of providing safety and service to the public. The use of open such technology, the Automatic Vehicle Locator (AVL) tracking device, is fast becoming a commonplace and cost-effective solution for agencies to efficiently command and control their 'officer' assets. Through the use of AVL's global positioning satellite-based system, the response time of law enforcement is greatly enhanced by permitting a dispatcher to visually identify and assign the officer closest to the location of an accident or incident. The system is effective in reducing delays due to highway blockages, improving the level of protection to the motoring public, and promoting the flow of traffic on busy freeways. Likewise, an officer or agent in distress can be assured that a dispatcher will be constantly aware of his or her location in the field. In the 1990's the demands on law enforcement agencies have grown tremendously. this is due primarily to population increases, limited funding or resources, and increases in drug, property and violent crimes. Frequently, the automobile is used for escape after the commission of these crimes. This often results in high speed pursuits involving law enforcement agencies. In California, by statute, the California Highway Patrol is the central repository for data regarding all pursuits involving state and local law enforcement agencies. Statistics show that more than 10 percent of pursuits result in injuries to the violator and/or innocent bystanders. Most pursuits last less than 10 minutes, and the AVL system provides a tremendous advantage to law enforcement's ability to immediately deploy and direct units into pursuits for rapid closure of the incident. AVL systems not only reduce the risk of personal injury by minimizing public exposure to the unsafe incident, but also enhance officer safety during the high speed chase by pinpointing officer deployment. Officer safety is a primary concern for all law enforcement agencies, nationwide. In addition to the aforementioned benefits of AVL, this system ensures that dispatchers are continually aware of an officer's location. This is a critical feature for an officer who is unable to verbally provide his/her location over the radio due to adversarial or injury circumstances. AVL technology is neither rate nor risky, and it is fast becoming an accepted and cost-effective solution in law enforcement agencies, large and small. The challenge to industry is not merely the development of new AVL technology, but also the ease in which it will integrate with existing law enforcement systems.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 January 1997
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 2934, Security Systems and Nonlethal Technologies for Law Enforcement, (29 January 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.265398
Show Author Affiliations
Steven C. Wilkins, California Highway Patrol (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2934:
Security Systems and Nonlethal Technologies for Law Enforcement
John B. Alexander; John B. Alexander; Debra D. Spencer; Steve Schmit; Basil J. Steele, Editor(s)

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