Police Limiting Use of Thermal Camera 

Police Limiting Use of Thermal Camera 
Posted by FoM on September 27, 2001 at 08:56:20 PT
By The Associated Press
Source: Bergen Record
Local police are using a heat-sensing camera that can help them find people they can't see with the naked eye. With the help of the infrared thermal-imaging camera, police can locate suspects hiding in the dark or possibly a child lost in the woods.But the devices are controversial. In June, a divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled that officers must get search warrants if they are going to use them to look into people's homes.
"Because of the case law, we keep its use more for searching open fields and to maintain officer safety," Medford Detective Sgt. Anthony Canale told The Philadelphia Inquirer this week.Canale completed a five-day course on thermal-imaging law and how to use the equipment before training six officers in his department."We use it in fugitive apprehensions, vehicle pursuits, or to save an officer from an ambush if a suspect is hiding in perimeter areas," Canale said.Medford installed its equipment using a $10,000 grant from the Office of National Drug Control Policy. The camera is mounted on the roof of a police cruiser that patrols only at night.Merwin Simpson, a sales coordinator for EMX Inc., a company that manufactures the devices, said business had been increasing. The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks also sparked sales.The devices are widely used by firefighters to search for people trapped in smoke-filled buildings.Civil libertarians, however, remain wary about their use by police, citing the potential for unlawful searches and invasion of privacy. They have challenged the use of such cameras in other jurisdictions."What we're looking for is judicial review. Police have to make a showing to look into people's homes," said Chris J. Hoofnagle, legislative counsel from the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a watchdog group in Washington.An infrared camera had been used to detect marijuana growth in private homes until the Supreme Court justices, in an Oregon case, decided that "while the technology used in the present case was relatively crude, the rule we adopt must take account of more sophisticated systems that are already in use or in development."Source: Bergen Record (NJ)Published: Thursday, September 27, 2001Copyright: 2001 Bergen Record Corp.Website: letterstotheeditor northjersey.comRelated Articles & Web Site:ACLU Infrared Camera is Praised by Police’s Value - National Review Amendment Still Applies 
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Comment #2 posted by E_Johnson on September 27, 2001 at 11:11:01 PT
Thermal imaging has many uses
It could probably even be used to catch cops having sex with hookers.
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Comment #1 posted by greenfox on September 27, 2001 at 10:46:45 PT
Officer Jack Boot
will stomp you. "Illegal" to use these thermal imaging devices, eh? Hahaha. Bust now, work out the "technicalities" later. Oh well...sig,fik, 
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