If there is one thing I have noticed that is lacking in our tactical operations and drug busts, it is a solid situational orientation to our ground assets in a fluid incident. For example, when coordinating a buy-bust takedown you may have multiple units working within the scenario: narcotics officers, confidential informants, SWAT members, uniformed patrol, heck, throw in a K9 team or two. Each of these personnel has distinct function, but often no one knows exactly where the other one is in relation to the target.
Intrepid Networks, with roots in Central Florida, has designed their Sting software platform as a way to increase law enforcement’s situational awareness and intelligence management. I spoke with Intrepid Network’s product manager Jim Schmorde at SWAT Round-Up International. I’m not necessarily a technology guy, so at points I nodded my head as if I understood. Mr. Schmorde was a good sport.
Sting uses the existing Android mobile technology and networks and builds an electronic framework for the First Responder. Schmorde displayed some Android phone and laptop images that showed the visual tracking locations of sample officers on a mapping function. Okay, cool. Dense urban canyon penetration. What became more clear as the demo continued was that this is an integrated system that can provide so much more that just GPS coordination.
Sting has the ability for officers to share real time intel photos on the fly, or construct and archive a data trail containing date, time, position, direction, and even environmental info, in addition to text notes, speech-to-text note, and other multimedia functions. Kinda like the movie Minority Report, without Tom Cruise waving his hands around in the air.
From Intrepid Networks:
Sting™ is a complete software solution designed for law enforcement specialists. Our product is developed specifically for officer and supervisor use in everyday operations as well as emergency response situations. Sting™ increases the efficiency and eases the organization of daily tasks such as taking notes, filing reports or creating multimedia records. This helps officers improve policing outside of their vehicle and decrease time spent on non-critical office functions. Sting™ also enables better coordination among First Responders by enhanced situational awareness and automated real-time officer danger reporting, facilitating a quicker response time to a crisis. Sting™ is a paradigm shift for law enforcement. Our solution is meant to augment current software applications currently available in vehicle laptops and dispatch/PSAP offices, i.e. CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch), RMS (Record Management Systems) and GIS (Graphical Information Systems). We are a revolutionary solution for the Public Safety community, providing unprecedented tools for officers and supervisors.
Using Sting™ can enable all of the following benefits:
- Significantly Elevated Officer Safety.
- Increased Officer Coordination and Response Time.
- Common Utility Functions located within One Device.
- Redundancy of Communications with Secondary Device.
- Shared Situational Awareness among Officers and Supervisors.
- More Efficient Information Collection, Management and Organization.
During the conversation, Intrepid Network’s CEO and Founder Britt Kane joined us. I told them the whole individual-operator-network Sting provides was reminiscent of what the U.S. Army had been trying to develop with their Land Warrior system (communications, command and control). In a straight-up tactical mission, like a hostage rescue situation, having perimeter officers, sniper teams, TL’s and ATL’s, assaulters, and the incident commander plugged into “each others eyes” would greatly increase information and effectiveness from SWAT’s standpoint.
You know me, I’m an old school cop, but I was impressed with what this type of technology offers the future of law enforcement. Police officers just coming into the profession have been baptized in electrons. They will certainly find this sort of information accessibility and management familiar and, ultimately, indispensable. My two cents…