Qui custodiet ipsos custodes? When it comes to police and their dashcams, the answer appears to be “nobody, due to suspicious technical problems.”
Last Friday, the Washington Post released a scathing indictment of the Chicago Police Department and its officers’ intentional sabotage of their dashcam equipment.
The same department is already under siege from all quarters. Homicides are soaring by 75 percent year-over-year in 2016, senior officials are leaving in droves, and a recent report has shown that a minor group of “untouchable” policemen is responsible for over $34M in settlements since 2009.
(Sarah Nader/Northwest Herald)
An Illinois sheriff knows a barn find when he sees one.
According to the Northwest Herald, McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Stadler spotted an old parade Chevrolet Caprice with 4,000 miles gathering dust in a shed and decided to bring it back into service.
The 20-year-old, LT1-powered police cruiser — which sports none of the modern police cruiser amenities including USB ports, massive touchscreen or even traction control — was pressed into service when Stadler’s Impala was retired.
“I could see the diamond in the rough,” Stadler told the newspaper. “Your non-car person would look at this thing and think, ‘Why would I want this 20-year-old thing covered in dirt?’ Where I was, ‘I really want to clean this thing up.’”
Hell yes. (Read More…)
A Chicago Tribune investigation has uncovered that the city’s speed cameras have nabbed school bus drivers, police, public employees and city bus drivers more than 8,000 times over the past two years.
In most cases the tickets were passed on to the drivers, but in some cases — bus drivers and police driving unmarked cars who could justify speeding — those fines were either paid by the Chicago Transit Authority or waived altogether.
The Chicago Tribune’s fine, fine, fine reporting work uncovered 714 bus violations and more than 2,000 police tickets in two years. (Read More…)
The joke that spotting a high driver is as easy as looking for the car safely going 7 mph on the interstate isn’t entirely accurate, according to Denver police.
“You’d be wrong. We’ll see the same levels of intoxication between someone who’s been using alcohol and someone who is on drugs,” Denver police Captain Mark Chuck said Wednesday. “There’s virtually no difference.”
Spotting those signs of impairment could become very important as federal regulators devote resources to developing nationwide standards and training tools for law enforcement. The recently signed federal highway funding bill, dubbed Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, directs the Transportation Department to study how to spot marijuana-impaired drivers as more states legalize the drug.
On Thursday, Google’s autonomous car development team reported that Mountain View, California police pulled over the robot car for traveling too slowly. No ticket was issued.
According to the team’s Google Plus page, officers pulled over the car because they “want to know more about the project.” According to Mountain View police, the officer wanted reminded the car’s human passengers that impeding traffic is against the law. Tomato, potato.
Dodge announced for its Charger Pursuit cars Friday an available 12.1-inch Uconnect touchscreen, which is five times larger than its 5-inch model available in some of its cars.
The 12.1-inch screen — which is only available on Charger cars for police for now — is meant to eliminate mounted laptops in the front seats of many police vehicles. The screen can be connected to a laptop in the trunk via ethernet cord, and can display functions such as lights, sirens, forward-mounted cameras and radio information.
An alert from one of the local news stations popped up on my screen last week asking readers to be on the lookout for a stolen unmarked police cruiser. My first instinct was to warn family and friends that an impersonator was out on the loose. Once I got the word out, I started analyzing the situation and thinking about vehicle tracking. I wondered why the local police department did not equip their cruisers with some sort of GPS tracking device which could have allowed them to locate the vehicle quickly without putting the public at risk. I have some experience with GPS tracking in a couple of different fields and decided to do some research on patrol car GPS devices.
Police in Helsinki are asking residents to skip the fare and call the cops if they spot an Uber driver within city limits.
Cops sent out a tweet Friday asking people to call emergency services (112 if you live in Finland, apparently) so authorities could have a chat with the enterprising driver. It’s illegal to operate a cab without a license, according to the Helsinki Sanomat (via Slashdot via Jack Baruth), and police are using citizen reports and even sting operations to crack down on the drivers.
It’s unclear if police are arresting or fining the Uber drivers.
As the Explorer goes, so goes the Ford Police Interceptor Utility. Unfortunately for Ford, as the Taurus goes, so too goes the Police Interceptor Sedan.
Sales of civilian Explorers in the United States are up 6% through the first eleven months of 2014. Ford sold 14,949 Explorers in November, a 13% improvement. In addition to those Explorers, Ford sold 18,823 Explorer-based Police Interceptor Utilities between January and November of this year, a 47% increase compared with 2013’s first eleven months. The Police Interceptor Utility went on sale in March 2012. Its best month so far was May of this year, when 2277 were sold, a 98% jump from May 2013 and a 196% improvement compared with May 2012. (Read More…)
As we hover around the fifty mile an hour mark in the right lane, the car ahead begins to wander again. First to the right, correcting sharply as they touch the rumble strip. Then to the left, as they overcorrect and wobble back across the center line. Suddenly, there’s a white flash to outside my driver’s door window. It’s some kind of late model Benz, burning up the passing lane Autobahn style. Not good.