||In our continued effort to bring you
the most comprehensive coverage in the field of law enforcement and law
enforcement issues, PoliceOne is working with Police Magazine to publish
many of their news and feature content on PoliceOne.com.
Visit the Police Magazine web site
here, subscribe to the print version of the magazine, click here.
The BlackBerry, a pricey handheld wireless Internet device favored by Wall
Street investment bankers and Hollywood producers, may soon be one of the most
effective weapons in the arsenal of U.S. homeland defense.
BlackBerries have been issued to 10 Massachusetts State Police troopers who
patrol the terminals and parking lots of Boston’s Logan International Airport.
The troopers, who are tasked with randomly interviewing passengers, use the
devices to send encrypted queries to federal and state databases about suspicious
persons and suspicious vehicles.
The BlackBerry, manufactured by Research in Motion can transmit law enforcement
queries and receive a response in less than a minute using PocketBlue Software
from Aether Systems Inc. If the trooper’s query uncovers a bad guy, the PocketBlue
software not only alerts that officer, it also sends an alarm to other BlackBerry-equipped
troopers in the terminal.
Aether Systems provided the BlackBerries to Logan officials, and the company
says similar programs are under way at other U.S. airports. However, it would
not disclose the locations.
So far, the BlackBerry patrol hasn’t snagged any terrorists, at least not publicly.
But the troopers have put the $89 per month devices to good use, identifying
stolen cars in the Logan parking lots.
This article is reprinted with permission from Police Magazine, online at http://www.policemag.com/.
Not to be reprinted or published without the express consent of http://www.policemag.com/.