Tag Archives: Texas

Texas DPS’ Face and ALL Ten Prints Biometric Policy Makes Everone a Suspect

lineup

Kaye Beach
July 14, 2014

Like Oklahoma, Texas requires applicants for a state drivers license or ID card to submit to his or her facial and finger biometrics to being captured and stored. But Texas has recently upped the ante requiring those who wish to have a state issued driver’s license of ID card, to submit to the scanning and retention of all ten fingerprints.

Texas lawmakers have passed legislation that allows the Department of Public Safety to get all ten of your fingerprints the next time you renew your drivers license. And the DPS quietly began doing that this year.

‘To Cut Down On Fraud, DPS Wants Fingerprints To Renew Drivers License,’

If you are already offended by the notion of the notion of being fingerprinted like a common criminal just to get an driver’s license or ID card you will be horrified by what Ryan Barrett, a former DPS employee who resigned over the new fingerprinting policy, reveals about what is actually being done with the data.

His main objection, he tells The Watchdog, is that all fingerprints of Texans are now being run through the state’s criminal database. (my bold)

…Barrett says he is not against catching criminals. The problem, he says, is that if someone has no criminal record, a new record is created of the innocent individual and stored in the statewide database called AFIS.

…Barrett says he believes the reason DPS quietly launched the program this year without public announcement is because such a public notice would have touched off a debate about the program’s legality.

Read more, ‘The Watchdog: Whistleblower blasts DPS for taking fingerprints,’ July 12, 2014, DallasNews.com

Dave Lieber, Watchdog Reporter for the Dallas Morning News is doing a fine job of investigating and reporting on this story which he first reported  on back on June 7, 2014.

Watchdog: Driver’s license centers snatch your fingerprints

[. . .]Quietly, earlier this year, the Texas Department of Public Safety began requiring full sets of fingerprints from everyone who obtains a new driver’s license or photo identification card.

[. . .]Since 2010, Texas has used facial recognition software to match driver’s license photos with government databases looking for persons wanted by law enforcement for various reasons.

The state’s Image Verification System also matches known faces from driver’s licenses and photo ID cards with sketches of criminal suspects, a Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman explained in answer to The Watchdog’s questions.

[. . . ]In the Texas Homeland Security Strategic Plan, which Marina found, authorities cite identity theft and terrorism as two motivators for using fingerprints and facial recognition software.

Checking fingerprints, the plan says, will help officials locate people seeking a second, unauthorized identification card.

The plan states that fingerprints will be compared with the federal Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System to identify criminals and terrorists.  Read more

July 12, 2014 article, The Watchdog: Whistleblower blasts DPS for taking fingerprints

And here is Lieber’s article published today, July 14, 2014, that allows the whistleblower and a representative for the Texas Department of Public Safety,  to both give their perspective in their own words.

Judge for yourself if fingerprint taking is necessary for Texas driver’s licenses

 

I love the DPS whistleblower, Ryan Barrett’s,  final thoughts on the matter.

‘…you can use any means or methods to stop crime and then justify it with the DPS’s blanket ‘safety’ statement.  You can say the DPS is placing RFID chips in all driver’s license holders, and then justify it with the the same sentence Tom used: that it stops fraud, combats terrorism, and keeps people safe.  In fact, I’m sure it probably would stop a little fraud, or some crime, but that doesn’t mean it is morally right, in line with the concept of citizens’ privacy, or cost-effective.  You could search every single house in a city when a crime is committed and justify it with that statement, and yes, the police would probably find some crime or wrong-doing.  But again, that doesn’t mean it’s morally right…’

Read more, ‘The Watchdog: Whistleblower blasts DPS for taking fingerprints,’ July 12, 2014, DallasNews.com

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Sounding the Alarm about Smart Meters Smart Grid with Curtis Bennett and David Chalk AxXiom For Liberty Live!

a4l 55

Kaye Beach

Jan 30, 2013

AxXiom For Liberty Live!  6-8 PM Central

Listen Live-LogosRadioNetwork.com  click ‘Listen’ then choose your Internet speed.  Logos Radio Network is a listener supported, free speech radio network and your contributions are vital but you do not have to be a subscriber in order to hear the show.

This Friday’s show on Feb 1st is going to be a very special one.  The entire show will be dedicated to covering some of the most pressing concerns about smart meters and the smart grid and we will have two very special guests who are experts in their respective fields to share with us some explosive information regarding the safety and security of the smart meters and smart grid, Curtis Bennett and David Chalk.

Here is the podcast for this show A4L_2013-02-01_64k.mp3

On Oct 27, 2009 President Obama announced that the Department of Energy awarded $3.4 billion in stimulus money to 100 smart-grid projects. The Dept. of Energy estimated that the awards will result 18 million homes getting the smart meters which will allow for the conversion to the Smart Grid.

What is a “smart” meter?

“Smart” Meters are digital utility meters that send customers’ detailed usage information to the utility using a radio-frequency transmitter (or over the power lines in the case of Powerline Carrier (PLC) systems.  The meter also contains other capabilities, such as remote shut-off. They are part of a larger plan to change the electricity grid to a “smart” grid–though there is controversy about whether the customer meter is actually crucial to that change. Electric smart meters are replacing older analog style meters. . .Read more from Stop Smart Meters

The installation of smart meters has raised a variety of concerns.  Privacy, health and safety, and security are among the most prominent concerns.   Most states do not provide a provision to allow citizens to refuse the smart meters by opting out and keeping their analog meters. Battles are taking place all over this country as people refuse the installation of smart meter devices on their homes.   In many instances, the smart meters have been installed against the wishes of the home owner or renter by stealth or deception.

In some cases, law enforcement has been used to install the smart meters against the wishes of the resident by force.

Naperville Police Force Smart Meters- Arrest Two Mothers; Community Reels- and Reacts

Smart Meter Battle Escalating – Idaho Power Brings Guns to the Fight

Curtis Bennett

Our first guest expert, Curtis Bennett has an impressive set of credentials.

Curtis Bennet is a Chief Science Officer, Interprovincial Journeyman Electrician (Red Seal), an Engineering Technologist and Adjunct Faculty for IHF & GEDI. He has a 33 year advanced Thermography background and is the world’s foremost authority on applying infrared technologies at the molecular level. He has testified as an expert witness before Canadian Parliament and was part of Texas Public Utilities Commission’s expert panel for their public hearings on smart meters and provided written testimony for the Texas Senate Committee on smart meters as well as addressing many other courts and governments on this issue throughout the North American continent.

Here is Mr. Bennett’s testimony for the Texas Senate http://www.thermoguy.com/pdfs/Texas_Senate_Committee_Meeting_on_Smart_Meters.pdf

You can access more of Curtis Bennett’s research and writings at www.thermoguy.com/blog

Mr. Bennett explains that safety standards for smart meters only considered the actual meter which is an end use device.  They left out the routers, collectors as well as other wireless infrastructure that interacts with human biological systems.  That only the possible heating effects of the smart meters in proximity to a person was considered in the safety standards, according to Mr. Bennett is a fatal and unacceptable flaw.

With all the discussion on wireless safety it is very important people understand the real dangers of wireless exposure and the science that was missing linking the frequencies to health problems. Read more http://www.thermoguy.com/blog/index.php?itemid=112

Mr. Bennett will walk us through established science and explain the known and potential harms presented by the roll out of the smart grid and demonstrate why that the entire coverage area of smart meters amounts to a “biological killing field”   Mr. Bennett advises that the adverse effects of smart meters/grid encompasses more than just human health and extend to all biological systems but also building structure integrity and more.

David Chalk

David Chalk is a Canadian technology entrepreneur and media personality best known as the host of the syndicated Dave Chalk’s Computer Show.  Mr. Chalk   ‘Take Back Your Power’ The trailer for that film can be viewed at http://takebackyourpower.net/

Mr. Chalk says the entire power grid is at risk and vulnerable to hacking and other forms of cyber attacks.

“One of the most amazing things that has happened to mankind in the last 100 years is the Internet. It’s given us possibility beyond our wildest imagination. But we also know the vulnerabilities that exist inside of it. And then we have the backbone, the power grid that powers our nations. Those two are coming together. And it’s the smart meter on your home or business that’s now allowing that connectivity.”

Hacking Expert David Chalk Joins Urgent Call to Halt Smart Grid

OG&E Smart Meters

In Pressing Issues About OG&E’s Smart Meter Rollout, I hit on some of the most obvious concerns about this program and covered where the authority to force consumers to accept the meters come from.  The authority for OG&E to implement the system on each home comes is derived, not from state of federal statute but from rules promulgated by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission

 

Also see Concerns About OG&E SMart Meters: Privacy, Security, Reliability

We invited Kenneth Grant, managing director of OG&E’s smart grid program, to listen to the show on Friday and offered him air time to respond.  Mr. Grant replied to our invitation promptly but explained that he would be out of town and unable to participate.  He did say that the show sounded interesting and said that he would have someone listen in and inquired about getting a recording of Friday’s show.

Back in July on AxXiom For Liberty,  I mentioned that a gentlemen I know is pushing back against OG&E’s forced installation of a smart meter on his home. At that time he had just begun the process of defending his analog meter from being replaced with a new smart meter which he opposes based on health and privacy concerns.  This gentleman shared with us some of the tools he is utilizing to inform his neighbors and halt OG&E from installing the new meter against his will.  You can find those tools at the bottom of this post.

Curtis Bennett and David Chalk expressed that they encourage listeners to call in and ask questions.  Howard and I also welcome your calls and encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity with these two experts.

CALL IN LINE 512-646-1984

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Three More Cities Vote to Ban Red Light Cameras

Kaye Beach

Nov. 8, 2012

A little post-election good news for liberty lovers.  3 cities vote to ban the scameras!

From the Newspaper.com Nov. 7, 2012

Tuesday proved to be another bad day for photo enforcement firms as they lost further ground at the ballot box. Questions on whether red light cameras or speed cameras ought to be banned came before municipal voters in California, New Jersey, Texas and Washington state.

Voters in League City, Texas spoke loudest against the use of red light cameras. At the end of the evening, 77 percent of the electorate sent a message to the city council that they wanted the automated ticketing machines removed.

“There is absolutely no doubt now that voters in Texas have resoundingly rejected the entire premise of photo enforcement,” Byron Schirmbeck, director of League City Camera Scam, told TheNewspaper. “Five out of five times that voters in diverse cities and towns have been given a chance to have their say at the ballot box the cameras have been rejected by as much as 77 percent.”

The message was reinforced with photo enforcement foes pulling off a clean sweep against incumbent city council members. Heidi Thiess defeated the number-one camera supporter, Councilman Mick Phalen, and Geri Bentley ousted Councilman Phyllis Sanborn who had voted to approve the camera contract. Todd Kinsey opposes cameras heads to a run off after landing 49.9 percent of the vote against two other candidates for an open council seat.

The most hotly contested battle took place in Murrieta, California where Tea Party activist Diana Serafin worked a continuous, door-to-door campaign to secure enough signatures to put a red light camera ban on the ballot. ATS and arch-rival Redflex Traffic Systems teamed up to defeat her effort, spending heavily on campaign mailers designed to convince people to support photo ticketing. It did not work.

“People told me they don’t believe anything on the five flyers sent out,” Serafin wrote in an email to supporters. “I made sure to tell everyone how much money the camera companies invested to fight me. They spend $105,000 to my $2000!”

Read more

Schools-Social Laboratories for Human Surveillance

Kaye Beach

Oct. 10, 2012

The latest story about Texas school children being tagged and tracked with active RFID tracking devices  (the passive variety is considered “a little less Big Brotherish.”) has caused some controversy.  We are told that this is no big deal, that the RFID tracking simply allows the school to more efficiently do what it already does-take attendance and keep track of students whose safety and well-being is entrusted to the school by parents. But there is much more going on here and the issue deserves to be examined in a broader context.

Here is an excellent article by David Rosen of AlterNet that pulls together a variety of news relating to the tracking and surveillance of students.  If you are even slightly uncomfortable about the implementation of these high tech schemes being unleashed on our children, you should read every word of this article which provides some much needed context to the individual stories that trickle down to us from time to time.

These children are the leaders of tomorrow and their experiences at school help serve to fix the values that they will carry with them into adulthood and they are being immersed in an environment saturated with sensors designed to supervise, control and correct them.  (Here are some other objections to student RFID tracking)

Rosen’s article covers RFID and GPS tracking, electronic monitoring devices being used on kids to combat obesity in New York, electronic monitoring of calories consumed in school cafeterias,  networked CCTV systems that are directly  accessible to police and disturbing abuse of student privacy through CCTV cameras,  school computers that use cameras to remotely spy on students in their own homes, federal funding of school surveillance and more.

I would like to add one thing to  Rosen’s litany; biometric identification such as finger scanning to make lunch lines more efficient 

Rosen writes;

Few parents or children are fully aware of the scope of the tracking and surveillance now going on in American schools. Three simple questions need to be addressed: What is happening to all the personal data captured about the students? How long it is being retained? And are school administrators providing it to law enforcement authorities or commercial vendors?

Here is the AlterNet article.

Kids Tagged With RFID Chips? The Creepy New Technology Schools Use to Track Everything Kids Do — And the Profit Motive Behind It

Texas Students Face Repercussions for Refusing RFID Tracking

Kaye Beach

Oct. 9, 2012

Are you OK with tracking kids via active RFID chips at school?  Some kids and parents in Texas are NOT OK with it and they are holding their ground. (article below)

Here are some of the objections parents and students might have against wearing and RFID tracking device (from Position Paper on the Use of RFID in Schools dated August 21, 2012 signed by a wide variety of civil liberties advocates);
• Dehumanizing uses: While there is an expectation of supervision and guidance in schools, monitoring the detailed behaviors of individuals can be demeaning. For example, RFID reading devices in school restrooms could monitor how long a student or teacher spends in a bathroom stall.
• Violation of free speech and association. RFID tracking software can monitor associations of RFID tags, which could dissuade individuals from exercising their rights to freedom of thought, speech and association. For example, students might avoid seeking counsel when they know their RFID tags will document their presence at locations like counselor and School Resource Officer (SRO) offices.
• Violation of conscience and religious freedom. Many individuals object to RFID systems on the basis of their deeply held philosophical or religious beliefs. Schools are required to make accommodations for students on the basis of these beliefs.
• Unauthorized use. While RFID systems may be developed for use in a school, the RFID tags may be read covertly anywhere by anyone with the right reading device. Since RFID reading devices work by silent, invisible radio waves and the reading devices can be hidden, unauthorized or covert uses can be nearly impossible to detect. In addition, information collected on systems could be shared or compromised without individuals’ knowledge or consent. For example, a student’s location could be monitored from a distance by a jealous
girlfriend or boyfriend, stalker, or pedophile. Individuals run this tracking risk any place they carry or wear a school-issued RFID tagged item—even miles from the campus.

Read more of the Position Paper on the Use of RFID in Schools

Texas School District Reportedly Threatening Students Who Refuse Tracking ID, Can’t Vote For Homecoming

Posted Oct. 8, 2012 at the Huffington Post

Weeks after Northside Independent School District in San Antonio rolled out its new “smart” IDs that tracks students’ geographic locations, the community is still at odds with the program.

The “Student Locator Project,” which is slated to eventually reach 112 Texas schools and close to 100,000 students, is in trial stages in two Northside district schools. In an effort to reduce truancy, the district has issued new student IDs with an embedded radio-frequency identification (RFID) chip that tracks the location of a student at all times.

The program officially launched October 1 at John Jay High School and Anson Jones Middle School. Without the badges — required to be worn around the neck — students cannot access common areas like the cafeteria or library, and cannot purchase tickets to extracurricular activities. WND reports that the district has threatened to suspend, fine or involuntarily transfer students who fail to comply and officials have noted that “there will be consequences for refusal to wear an ID card as we begin to move forward with full implementation.”

Read more

Multiple States Get Pre-Crime Robot Cams to Detect Suspicious Behavior and Report to the Authorities

Kaye Beach

June 20, 2012

Throughout history there have been a couple of things that have limited tyrannical governments from implementing any truly pervasive system of surveillance and control upon the populace;  manpower and technology.

The Nazi’s took their  system of cataloging their population (which they used to efficiently slaughter millions of innocent people) to the limits of available manpower and technology.

Anyone who thinks this is a mere privacy issue needs to adjust their thinking cap.  When I contemplate the developing landscape of the public sphere I don’t lament my loss of privacy.  It is my loss of autonomy that I mourn.  Autonomy has been describes as “the desire to avoid being manipulated or dominated wholly by others”  Loss of autonomy means loss of control over one’s own life.

Now we have entered a time where the two greatest hurdles to effective control over the population has been all but eliminated.  As we have witnessed so far, the Bill of Rights, privacy laws or even simple ethics have provided little protection from the onward march of intrusive technology into our lives. We should expect that the forward march of technological tyranny will continue until it hits a wall.

Reported June 19, 2012 by GCN (Government Computer News)

Cities using AI for pre-crime monitoring of surveillance videos

In a real-life twist of the TV show “Person of Interest,” cities around the country are adopting technology to detect and prevent crime before it happens.

In the TV show, a mysterious billionaire and computer genius recruits a former CIA agent to prevent violent crimes in New York using a computer system he built to analyze video surveillance.

In reality, San Francisco; Houston; El Paso, Texas; Birmingham, Ala.; and reportedly the site of the World Trade Center in New York — among other entities — have purchased that kind of software to detect and report “suspicious or abnormal behavior.” The European Union and the Homeland Security Department are also developing their own pre-crime detection systems.

San Francisco’s Municipal Transit Authority (MUNI), the latest purchaser, is using AISight software to continuously monitor more than 150 “objects and activities” at 12 train stations via real-time video feeds.

The software uses artificial intelligence to learn which items and movements could indicate a potential threat. Video clips of suspicious activity and SMS text message alerts are automatically sent to MUNI employees upon detection.

The deal closed in early March, according to an unnamed source, reported Security Systems News. According a San Francisco Chronicle article earlier this month, the five-year deal is worth $3.6 million, although SSN reported it at just over $2 million. It includes support services as well as installation of the software. The system is intended to be forward-compatible with future surveillance technology.

Source: GCN (http://s.tt/1f6fg)

Source: GCN (http://s.tt/1f6fg)

Cops Want ARMED Drones!

Kaye Beach

May 23, 2012

Well, you’d have thought that they would wait until the things had been flying over us awhile before they would start talking about arming them but NO!  We have given them too many inches now and predictably, they are taking their miles.

Groups Concerned Over Arming Of Domestic Drones

May 23, 2012 1:18 PM

WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – With the use of domestic drones increasing, concern has not just come up over privacy issues, but also over the potential use of lethal force by the unmanned aircraft.

Drones have been used overseas to target and kill high-level terror leaders and are also being used along the U.S.-Mexico border in the battle against illegal immigration. But now, these drones are starting to be used domestically at an increasing rate.

The Federal Aviation Administration has allowed several police departments to use drones across the U.S. They are controlled from a remote location and use infrared sensors and high-resolution cameras.

Chief Deputy Randy McDaniel of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office in Texas told The Daily that his department is considering using rubber bullets and tear gas on its drone.

“Those are things that law enforcement utilizes day in and day out and in certain situations it might be advantageous to have this type of system on the UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle),” McDaniel told The Daily.

Read more of this insanity HERE

IACP 2010: Airborne support for law enforcement that won’t break the bank

Vanguard Defense Industries’ ShadowHawk provides a serious strategic advantage for any agency that deploys it

“Yes, Virginia, We Can See — and Shoot — You From Up Here

Do you know who voted to release 30, 000 drones in US skies?

HR 658, the “Federal Aviation Administration Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act” was passed by both Houses and signed by the President on Feb 14, 2012

Oklahoma Senators
Yea   R Coburn, Thomas OK
Yea   R Inhofe, James “Jim” OK
Oklahoma House
Aye   R Sullivan, John OK 1st
No   D Boren, Dan OK 2nd
Aye   R Lucas, Frank OK 3rd
No Vote   R Cole, Tom OK 4th
Aye   R Lankford, James OK 5th

Super Duper License Plate Snoopers-Federal Grants for Texas Spy Drones

Kaye Beach

Nov. 16, 2011

If they can use ALPR (Automatic License Plate Recognition) then they can use facial recognition too.  And if they can do something-you can bet your bottom dollar that they will do it.

Drone Gives Texas Law Enforcement Bird’s-Eye View on Crime

By

Published November 16, 2011 | FoxNews.com

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office is weeks away from launching an unmanned aerial asset to help deputies fight crime. The ShadowHawk helicopter is six-feet long, weighs fifty pounds and fits in the back of an SUV.

“We can put it over a fire, put it over ahazmat spill, put it over a house with a suspect barricaded inside and literally give the incident commander the ability to look at the entire scene with a bird’s eye view, ” Chief Deputy Randy McDaniel said.

Sheriff’s deputies will fly the ShadowHawk with nothing more than a laptop computer and a remote control similar to that used for video games.

It’s equipped with an infrared camera that can clearly read a license plate from an elevation of twelve hundred feet. The helicopter cost upwards of $300,000 and was purchased with a grant from the federal government.

Read More

Also see this article mentioning facial recognition;

European Dispatch November 16, 2011

America Edges to Brink of Armed Police Drones

But police have been known to dodge these guidelines by flying drones over public protests where members of certain political movements are known to gather. Activists on the left and right assume the police want to collect mass photographic information of people in political movements, including portraits to run through facial-recognition software.

On Loss of Belladier David Hall: Bells Must Be Ringing in Heaven

In Memory of David Hall, 1951- 2011

Kaye Beach

Oct, 12, 2011

David Hall, The Belladier, was called Home yesterday.  He was a servant of God and an inspiration to all who lives he touched.

Shelli Dawdy has written a beautiful article in honor of David Hall which I have re-posted below.

Rest in peace dear Belladier, it was my honor to know you.

David and Sandie, with friend Kaye, November 2010, Branson, Missouri

Belladier David Hall: Bells Must Be Ringing in Heaven

By Shelli Dawdy  (Grassroots In Nebraska)

I’m feeling, I think, only a small measure of the true loss to our country and the understandable sadness of a dear friend at the news of the death of Texan David Hall. Along with all of this, I’m feeling my own negligence in failing to introduce GiN’s readers to David and his family and encourage support of his efforts at an earlier date.

David’s death on Tuesday serves as stark reminder that life is all too short and we don’t have forever to honor the good works among us.

I’ve never met David, but I know of him through my dear friend Sandie, who in the last two years has kept me informed of David and his family’s work and, sadly, this year’s struggle against pancreatic cancer which ended his life. Sandie, I know, is suffering from understandable grief at the loss of such a friend and frequent colleague in many efforts over the last several decades to promote Constitutional governance and liberty. I know Sandie is engaging in much prayer, as she always does, and as David and family would desire, to speed David’s journey home and to wrap those he left behind in the Lord’s loving grace and peace.

While Sandie and David, along with others, engaged in many efforts throughout their long years of friendship, perhaps the most worthy and enduring will be the decision to obtain a full-size and fully-functional replica of the Liberty Bell in the late 90′s.

David and his family took charge of the Bell, investing a great deal of time, talent, and treasure in its restoration and placement on a flatbed trailer with large Ten Commandments tablets on either side. The Bell and its companion tablets traveled what now must total well over a million miles, for the simple, yet worthy purpose of honoring America’s fallen soldiers.

Read More

Robo Copter-Hells New SWAT Toy

Kaye Beach

Aug 23, 2011

Tased From Above! New Robot Copter To Begin Patrolling Our Skies

Forget the idea that weaponized unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are only for military operations in wars fought in far off lands. Soon they’ll begin setting their sights on criminals within our borders. And they’ll be packing heat, not the long-range missiles of the X-47B, but with up close and personal stun guns, 12-gauge shotguns and, believe it or not, grenade launchers.

The ShadowHawk is the seven-foot, 50-lb copter that is the toy-sized dealer of destruction from Texas-based Vanguard Defense Industries. The copter is the result of three years of development. If being tased from above sounds frightening to you, I suggest you cease all criminal activities now (simply staying indoors is an option). There’s a good chance ShadowHawk’s spine tingling buzz could be heard approaching a city near you.

As a sign of new law enforcement tactics to come, the Sheriff’s Office of Montgomery County, Texas was recently awarded a grant by the Department of Homeland Security for a squadron of ShadowHawks. Montgomery County’s Chief Deputy Randy McDaniel is psyched. “We are very excited about the funding and looking forward to placing the equipment into the field. Both my narcotics and SWAT units have been looking at numerous ways to deploy it and I absolutely believe it will become a critical component on all SWAT callouts and narcotics raids and emergency management operations.”

Read more