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A new technology will help police officers be at the touch of their cell phones to supply them better response at scenes of terrorism and other scenes of mass casualties where good communication and the quick deployment of officers is critical. The technology supplies a real-time mapping capability to first responders dealing with active shooting attacks.
According to nj.com, the development is based on a system used by the U.S. Navy SEALS in 2011, the program allows all those responding to a critical incident to “see” and communicate with each other using just their smartphones.
New Jersey Ocean County Prosecutor’s office demonstrated the technology, which Prosecutor Joseph Coronato envisions would be adopted by local school districts and then spread to other potential terrorist targets.
“With this technology, law enforcement responding to a school threat will for the first time literally be on the same page and have a complete picture of on-scene personnel,” Coronato said.
For a price tag of between $25,000 and $50,000, the prosecutor’s office bought a cloud-based secure server that will store the floor plans of schools and any other buildings or sites that could be potential terrorist targets. The app gives police and school personnel access to those mapped plans and shows in real time the names and locations – updated every 5 seconds – of the officers on scene.
It also allows emergency responders to know where their fellow officers are, reducing the chances of a friendly-fire incident. It can also help get to victims more quickly when they can “see” if the law enforcement activity has moved away from a particular area, making it safe to get to the injured person, Coronato said.
The prosecutor’s office recently held a demonstration of the program at Central Regional High School for a dozen police agencies, including the New Jersey State Police. So far, six school districts in Ocean County are participating and two others are in the start-up phase, he said.
The sprawling high school in Berkeley, with its various hallways and more than four dozen separate entrances, highlighted the confusion law enforcement officers could face when arriving at an unfamiliar building.
As part of the training, Berkeley police officers participated in two drills – one simulating a school emergency with two victims and another with one injured and one dead.
Coronado said the SWAT team has already used the technology for a suspect who barricaded himself in his house. His office is also planning to use it for an upcoming charity. Held last year, the run in Seaside Park, was the site of a bombing, allegedly by a man who’s accused of also planting bombs in New York City and Elizabeth on the same day last year.