Police across US spending big on James Bond gadgetry to fight crime

on Apr22

Pierce Brosnan as 007 in the James Bond film 'The World Is Not Enough,' 1999.

Keith Hamshere | Getty Images

Pierce Brosnan as 007 in the James Bond film ‘The World Is Not Enough,’ 1999.

It’s not just about eyes in the sky; they use robotic land cameras from Robotext to navigate into dangerous situations — they can even open doors — to send real-time video back to law enforcement a safe distance away. There are even underwater robots to help find lost divers or assist with chemical spills.

“We used it in a situation, a tactical situation where someone was firing a hgh-powered rifle into a community,” Ewell said. “We were able to use this technology in conjunction with other technology to see exactly where that gunman was and at a certain point in time to be able to safely approach that person and ensure that there was no more gunfire.”

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Captain Ewell says the technology even saves the lives of criminals, by minimizing situations in which law enforcement might have to shoot. “It protects public safety personnel, and it also protects the public, which is the most important aspect [of our use of technology], but there’s one aspect people don’t think about sometimes,” he said. “In addition, it actually protects criminals in many situations. We’re able to see that a criminal is armed at a distance, and so we don’t have to confront them close up, where a shooting could occur, where he could get hurt. That gives us some extra time and distance to be able to try and talk the person down, calm him down, and safely resolve SWAT situations by using this technology.”

And back at the station, there’s another type of technology in use. Powerful software from start-up Mark43 helps police file reports and keep and study statistics. The start-up, backed by Jeff Bezos’ Bezos Expeditions and former military general and CIA Director David Petraeus, among others, reports that it’s saved more than 250,000 hours of work for police in Washington, D.C., alone.

And the less time and money spent on filing paperwork, the more time and money that can be spent on public safety.

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