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December 02, 2004

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Shawn Hughes WMD and Bomb Disposal Issues
with Shawn Hughes

Review: 'Pocket Partner' - A small, red book that is a giant reference

When I first agreed to be a columnist here at PoliceOne, I was very firm: I would not be in the back pocket of any company. It is a growing and disturbing trend in media that writers shall not bad-mouth anybody, especially if they are a paying advertiser. I feel like your life is more important than an advertising dollar.

I am happy to report, readers, the practice of whitewashing crappy products is not the case here. When a small, red book crossed my desk for review recently, I was not told how to write my review. Great thanks to the senior editorial staff here at PoliceOne; one of the few places that put your needs above being a mouthpiece for industry.

The first product in review today is a book called the Pocket Partner; the brainchild of Dennis Evers. Dennis is no stranger to Law Enforcement, and it shows in his book.

The Pocket Partner is a small, red book that is a GIANT reference of topics critical to the Patrolman or Patrol Supervisor.

Forget your phonetic alphabet? It's in there.
Need the phone number for the EPA? It's in there.
There's even a Miranda warning in English and in Spanish on the back page!
Just copying the table of contents here would take half a page. An encyclopedia's worth of data in a size that won't take up much room in your go bag, and doesn't need batteries!

Now, if you have several hash marks on your sleeve, you may potentially need your magnifying glasses to read some of the 672 pages of data, but, hey, it's a small price to pay for this storehouse of information.

Aroused your curiosity? Surf on over to www.thepocketpartner.com, and tell Dennis that PoliceOne sent you! He will be happy to supply you, or your entire department.

The second product I want to talk about is a little piece of software that will speed up your day if skid marks interest you. Reconcalc is a pda-based program for Accident Reconstructionists. (For those not aware, a PDA is that little electronic doodad you see people using to keep their calendar and contact lists in.)

As a consultant, I do field data collection for the reconstructionist who designed the program, so I've been evaluating this program for a month or two. (In case the antenna is popping up, he is not aware I am reviewing his product here, and I have no, ZERO monetary involvement in this product).

I can say without hesitation that it is a neat piece of work, and every reconstructionist I have shown it to has gotten their own copy. There are automated screens for basic speed calculations, and also many advanced screens for functions such as momentum and velocity determinations.

On the down side, if you've never used a PDA, there will be a slight learning curve, as far as using the device, but the program itself is very user-friendly, and intuitive.

Don't take my word for it; go to www.reconcalc.com, download a trial version, and see for yourself. Once again, tell them PoliceOne sent you!

Well, that closes the reviews section for now.

Do you know of a neat doodad? Got something you think cops want? Send me one, and I'll review it here! Contact me at srh@esper.com, but, if it doesn't pass muster, remember, I pull no punches.

Until next time,
-- Shawn

About the author

Shawn Hughes is an often controversial veteran Patrol Officer and Bomb Technician who now works for a Federal agency, but still consults for various agencies and private corporations when he isn’t writing or teaching. His articles have been published in three countries on two continents. He's written for the majority of law enforcement publications in the US, including the NTOA’s Tactical Edge, the IABTI’s Detonator, SWAT, Police, and others. His second book, on obtaining a job in Law Enforcement, is out now, with a third on lock technology in development. He can be reached at srh@esper.com .






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