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Police: Can you hear me now?

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  • Police: Can you hear me now?

    Police: Can you hear me now?
    Charles F. Bostwick
    Staff writer



    Police facing rock-throwing rioters or drug dealers refusing to exit a crack house may soon have a new recourse: ultrapowerful loudspeakers designed for the U.S. military.
    Created to let soldiers and sailors hail approaching vehicles or boats while still safely hundreds of yards away, the high-tech loudspeakers can also emit powerful, nerve-jarring tones that can turn back a mob or chase out a gunman.

    "We know the human brain is sensitive to certain frequencies. It's like squeaking chalk on a blackboard, or scraping your fingers across a blackboard, and everybody winces," Los Angeles County Sheriff's Cmdr. Sid Heal said. "You can use it similarly to an electric broom to move the rioters out of the way."

    U.S. law-enforcement agencies for decades have used "nonlethal' or "less-than-lethal' devices on crowds and individuals: tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets.

    But even those can kill. Tear gas can endanger an infant held hostage by a gunman. Rubber and wooden projectiles fired at a crowd can kill a person if they're hit in the wrong place.

    On Thursday, sheriff's officials along with officials from the Army's Picatinny Arsenal, the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force and even the United Kingdom gathered at Air Force Plant 42 to watch demonstrations of high-tech loudspeakers.

    San Diego-based American Technology Corp. showed off its Long Range Acoustic Device a circular loudspeaker about three feet in diameter and eight inches thick that it designed after the October 2000 suicide attack on the USS Cole.

    Hundreds of LRADs are in service with the U.S. military. They're part of the equipment at checkpoints on Iraqi roads, and on Navy ships


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    in the Persian Gulf are used to warn fishing boats and freighters away from oil platforms. Even Princess Cruise ships carry them.

    A laser projector can be mounted on the loudspeakers to flash in the eyes of a driver or a boatman who doesn't stop when hailed. The loudspeaker also is built to accommodate a digital decoder that can translate commands like "Put down your weapons' into 50 languages.

    American Technology has come out with a smaller version to be carried on Humvees.

    New York police used the devices to control crowds during the 2004 Republican National Convention protests and at Times Square on New Year's Eve.

    In Santa Ana, police used a unit in June to order people out of a house for which they had a search warrant. When the occupants didn't come out, officers turned on the LRAD's alert tone an excruciating, high-pitched warble, like a giant car alarm from hell and panned the narrow sound beam back and forth across the house.

    "It drove 10 suspects out of the location," said Ryk Williams of American Technology. "People want to get out of the sound beam."

    Four of American Technology's loudspeakers were donated Thursday to equip a Marine Corps military police unit headed to the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
    "Respect for religion must be reestablished. Public debt should be reduced. The arrogance of public officials must be curtailed. Assistance to foreign lands must be stopped or we shall bankrupt ourselves. The people should be forced to work and not depend on government for subsistence." - Cicero, 60 B.C.

    For California police academy notes go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CABasicPolice/

  • #2
    So now I can sue a department for making my ears go deaf if they use this. Just kidding.

    Comment


    • #3
      Oh those are common...

      Every rap idiot in the world got a pair of those in his back seat...

      I know this for a fact because I can hear them rolling down the freeway a mile away! BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM


      LOL

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by toby101
        So now I can sue a department for making my ears go deaf if they use this. Just kidding.
        That's no joke. The first time these things are used this lawsuit will be a reality.
        Two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Chief Wiggum
          That's no joke. The first time these things are used this lawsuit will be a reality.

          I know people will sue, and people are so sue happy now for stupid things.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by toby101
            I know people will sue, and people are so sue happy now for stupid things.
            "Spilled my coffee on myself and burned myself because the cup didn't warn me that it was hot. I'm suing McDonalds."

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Woodles
              "Spilled my coffee on myself and burned myself because the cup didn't warn me that it was hot. I'm suing McDonalds."

              Did it have some glass or meth in the burger to.

              Comment


              • #8
                I won't necessarily make you go deaf - it's not a decibel level thing - it's a frequency level thing. Sort of like the electronic rodent repellant - emits a super high frequency that is irritating to rodents, but it doesn't deafen them.

                Comment

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