The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department will be the first law enforcement agency in the country to outfit its deputies with a state-of-the-art injury detection system.
Sheriff Hank Partin unveiled the new technology last week with a demonstration that gave attendees a first-hand look at how the program works. The Automatic Injury Detection (AID) system connects a panel that is inserted into the deputy’s bulletproof vest to smartphones and police radios of select personnel as well as emergency services operators.
Those in attendance connected their phones to the alert system and watched via video link as a dummy wearing the panel was shot at which point participants received a text alert saying, “Deputy Smith, Blood O has been injured: abdomen.” A link to Google maps was also sent showing the deputies exact location.
Partin said that the system cost $86,000, which the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors approved last year. He said that the county may have actually saved money by upgrading the radio equipment now, as opposed to two years from now when new regulations would make their current radios obsolete.
The vest’s sensors detect injuries from shooting, stabbing or shrapnel from explosions, and in addition to blood type and location, identify ant allergies to medicine that a deputy may have.
Partin said deputies having to radio in during emergencies is not practical or sometimes even possible depending on the seriousness of an injury, and the system gives them a much needed tool in the field.
“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.
Partin said that the army has tested much the technology and he expects the federal government will start trying to push other law enforcement agencies to pursue the technology.
Ken Brinkley, who works for Select Engineering Services LLC, the company who created the panels and sensors, said that the technology was the biggest improvement in policing technology since radios and cell phones.
The department will be outfitting 133 officers with the technology that Partin expects to be in use by early March.
The last deputy shot was in 2006 when Cpl. Eric Sutphin was killed in the line of duty.