Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Local News

January 25, 2013

High tech

Technology has its place with law enforcement

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — They still give out tickets, use handcuffs, Tasers and at times, guns. But now, there are a few other tools officers are using at the Lockport Police Department.

A few of those tools help the officers on the job. For example, if an officer has to look into a second floor window or attic, or even around a corner, they’ll want to do so in a safe way. Enter the pole camera, a self-contained video system with a camera at the end of a long, adjustable rod.

It gives police a chance to look without putting themselves in harm’s way, said Lt. Steven Abbott. The camera is designed to be operated by one person and is placed in the supervising vehicle every shift.

“For searching high-risk areas where you don’t really want to poke your head out, it’s perfect,” Abbott said.

Law enforcement agencies are becoming more tech-savvy in order to make their jobs easier. Because as times change, so do the challenges with protecting and serving the public.

There are times where a chase may ensue into an unfamiliar area, made even more difficult at night. To help this, Lockport Police also have access to a thermal camera that tracks heat

signatures, allowing officers to find people no matter how dark it is. 

In the camera, warmer things appear white, allowing a person to stand out from the darker background. Abbott said because of how expensive it is, the department has just the one camera and it’s kept at the station.

Being able to talk to each other is important in law enforcement. A few years ago, the old dispatch system at headquarters was replaced with state-of-the-art cameras, computers and a mapping system are available for officers to communicate with patrol cars.

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