With several holding up their smartphones to capture the video, a crowd on Wednesday morning watched as a live Periscope stream broadcast a dummy being gunned down in a field.
Phones across the room buzzed with a text message announcing that “Deputy Smith, Blood O has been injured: abdomen.”
Another text just below the first notification provided a link to Google Maps, pinpointing the exact location of the incident.
The mock exercise was a demonstration of new policing technology the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office hopes to start using by the end of this month.
(Learn about AID , courtesy of montgomeryva and YouTube)
This is a promotion of the AID (Automatic Injury Detection) by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.
The Montgomery County, Va., Sheriff’s Office demonstrated a new technology that could save the lives of deputies. The demonstration and media event took place at the Montgomery County Public Safety Building on February 1, 2017.
Automatic Injury Detection (AID) panels provide a way to contact dispatch and others during a time when communication may not be possible.
Thanks to $86,000 approved by the county’s Board of Supervisors, the sheriff’s office obtained a system that relies on custom-fitted plastic panels slipped inside bulletproof vests to notify department command and dispatchers of the exact location of a deputy that has been shot.
(See Automatic Injury Detection (AID) Live Fire demonstration with connectivity to a radio and a smartphone. Courtesy of DataSoftCorp and YouTube)
The new tool is intended to speed up response time to not only the incident itself, but also for saving the deputy’s life, Sheriff Hank Partin has said.
“Montgomery County, we can’t wait,” he said, championing the need of the technology. “We’re tipping 100,000 in population. We can’t wait.”
Called the Automatic Injury Detection system, or AID, the tool relies on Bluetooth technology to connect the panels to smartphones and police radios, which together push notifications to dispatchers and select department personnel.
Along with location and the deputy’s name, the smartphone notification provides information such as allergies to specific medicines.
The smartphone component involving allergy and blood type information is very useful for emergency response crews so they know how to better handle the deputy upon arriving at the scene, Partin said.
The panels are programmed to also work in a shooting, a knife attack or if hit by shrapnel.
“They [deputies] don’t have a choice. They get thrown into these events. They go into these situations blind,” said Ken Brinkley, an inventor with Select Engineering Services LLC, the firm that built the panels and sensors.
“This is probably the biggest advance in communication we’ve [police] had since the radios and cell phone.”
Mentioning that a U.S. Department of Homeland Security official was present at the event Wednesday, Partin said the federal department has plans to push the technology across other law enforcement agencies and is looking at the county sheriff’s office as a pilot.
The sheriff’s office will be the only law enforcement agency in the New River Valley to be using the system.
The current and common practice of broadcasting for backup via a radio is less foolproof than what AID presents, said Brinkley, who referred to some officer-involved shootings in recent years.
“They weren’t fatally shot, but they weren’t able to communicate their position,” he said.
“These are the kinds of situations we deal with out there.”
(Soldiers test the ruggedness of the Automatic Injury Detection (AID) panels – proving that rough handling will not damage the AID system or cause false triggers. Courtesy of DataSoftCorp and YouTubeSoldiers test the ruggedness of the Automatic Injury Detection (AID) panels – proving that rough handling will not damage the AID system or cause false triggers.)
“We saw how one piece of technology can save an officer’s life and give their family peace of mind when they walk out the door,” he said.
Information provided by the sheriff’s office states that 133 members of the sheriff’s staff will be given an AID system along with the necessary radios.
The technology has been tested and proven with the Army and immediately drew his department’s interest, Partin said.
Montgomery County’s most recent deputy shot while on duty was Cpl. Eric Sutphin, who was killed in August 2006 while searching for a county jail escapee.
The sheriff’s office couldn’t immediately provide figures on how many deputy-involved shooting incidents — in which deputies could have been shot — have occurred in recent years.
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Soldiers test the ruggedness of the Automatic Injury Detection (AID) panels – proving that rough handling will not damage the AID system or cause false triggers. For more information see www.datasoft.com or www.selectengineering.net.