The seventh biannual Force Protection Equipment Demonstration was held at the Stafford County Virginia Regional Airport and Marine Corps Base Quantico, VA. More than 600 vendors displayed and demonstrated commercial-off-the-shelf force protection and physical security products from 19-21 May.
The event was sponsored by the Department of Defense (Physical Security Action Group) and co-sponsored by Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, Joint Staff, National Institute of Justice, National Nuclear Security Administration, and Technical Support Working Group.
Tara, my argument wasn’t that ALL high tech is coltsy just that it is important to weigh the cost of new tech against the anticipated savings, that police work is still about humans rather than machines. That’s why I included news articles about police departments that have experienced both cost and benefit for their investments.I think that too often, chiefs feel pressured to spend money before next year’s budget, so they buy some shiny object they may not really need. Indications are that ALPR is not one of these technologies (and I am familiar with it, having written about it for Police Security News), but chiefs should still weigh an investment in it against, say, new in-dash cams, or computer forensic software based on the problems their communities and officers are experiencing, how officers are currently deployed and how they’re likely to be re-deployed in the future.In other words, chiefs should not get so caught up in the potential of some technology that they miss the implications of becoming overreliant on it. Until artificial intelligence gets to be as good as we are at thinking, good police work is still needed in conjunction with most new tech!
When Forward Operating Base Iskandariyah northern Babil province was mortared on January 27, 2005, eight US Marines were wounded; one was killed, Corporal Jonathan Beatty. More than three years later, friends, relatives, and strangers leave fresh tributes to Beatty on memorial websites.
Beatty, 22-years-old, and other Marines from Charlie Company of First Battalion/Second Marine Regiment – “1/2”in Marinespeak - had been asleep in their tent. As the mortars exploded, I was a little over hundred yards away, safely huddled in a concrete bunker with grunts from Alpha Co. I shot video, my job, while fighting a surge of conflicting emotions – fear and a gut-churning powerlessness.