This post is also available in: עברית (Hebrew)
Ambushes on police officers patrol vehicles are not a rare situation. A US company is developing an early warning system designed to prevent ambush-style attacks by notifying officers when someone is approaching a patrol vehicle. The new high tech solution called ‘Fighting Chance’ gives officers a visual and audible warning.
Doug Compton who founded Police Defence, Inc. Compton has been working with David Machado who has been patrolling the streets for 28 years. “It happens frequently. People will run up to our car and it’s very, very startling especially at 3 in the morning when you are in a dark parking lot,” said Compton.
The sensor device mounts on top of the light bar. “It’s objective is to sense motion predominantly,” said Brad Sturgill who designed the hardware and software.
Think of it as a virtual fence that also detects heat signatures. When someone approaches the vehicle, the light bar on top of the patrol car illuminates them while a visual alarm flashes on the officer’s computer screen or mobile device alerting them of the direction of a potential threat.
The visual warning on the screen could be yellow, orange or red depending on how close the person is to the car.
Officers call it enhanced situational awareness on a very broad scale giving them time to craft a response. Plans also include 360-degree cameras, according to q13fox.com.
“The cameras allow us from a software development perspective to introduce artificial intelligence to start to take into consideration intent of the individual. So, if they’re walking along and they’re constantly turning their head although paralleling the car, maybe that’s a warning of a possible threat and going from maybe a yellow level to an orange level indicator,” said Sturgill.
He strongly believes there is a huge market for their product that includes police, military, and private security.
Multiple cars also can be linked to form perimeter security in tactical situations.
Right now, the team at Police Defence is working to raise the capital needed for widespread production. They’re hopeful an investor will see the huge potential and the opportunity to help send officers home safely.