Heat-Seeking Cameras Aid Cops

Heat-Seeking Cameras Aid Cops
Posted by FoM on April 29, 2001 at 07:12:24 PT
By Joe McGurk, Register Staff 
Source: New Haven Register
By using the latest drug fighting gadget  a thermal imaging camera  police officers can detect illegal activity usually shrouded in darkness. Parking lot drug deals and indoor marijuana farms are fair game for cops using the $13,000 camera, purchased for the department by the federal Office of National Drug Control Policy. The only persons who won't like the camera are criminals, police Sgt. John Jarvie said, because "criminals use the element of darkness to their benefit." 
Use of the camera is controversial. Civil liberty groups claim use of the camera is an invasion of privacy.The state Supreme Court recently backed the use of camera, using a 1996 arrest by Seymour police as a test case."It's just a probable cause tool," Jarvie said. "The privacy issues are misunderstood, we can't see what people are doing inside their houses, the camera doesn't see through walls or windows."What the camera does is give officers a black and white picture of night that is almost as clear as day. It will be the department's eyes at night, as Jarvie explained, and they will look in the same public places they are allowed to look during the day. The hand-held camera shows heat in degrees of white light. So if police suspect a person is dealing drugs in a darkened lot, they can see the deal. And, if someone is using hot lamps to grow marijuana in a house, the police can see the intense amount of heat leaving that house's roof.Since use of thermal cameras became more common over the last few years, the Statewide Narcotics Taskforce reports a drop in the number of persons found growing marijuana indoors.Five indoor locations were raided and 36 plants were destroyed in 1996, according to the taskforce.In 1996, 15 interior growing areas were raided and 603 plants were destroyed. Police have more success finding marijuana growing outside, where the hardy plant thrives. Police found 62 growing locations in 2000 and destroyed 4,606 plants, worth $13 million on the street. Persons who have been arrested for growing marijuana have appealed to state and federal courts that police using thermal imaging violated their right to privacy.Cliff Thornton, president of Hartford-based civil liberty group Eficacy, when reached this week said "thermal cameras are an infringement on peoples rights of privacy, and I don't think its right." "I will fight it at all costs, and I think the law enforcement agencies are overstepping their boundaries," he added. "If they suspect drugs anywhere, they can do anything, it seems."He said use of the thermal cameras is "insanity...the newest encroachment on our rights,"He said his agency doesn't advocate drug use, but demands police deal with the drug problem in a "rational, reasonable manner.""Spying is another part of the ridiculous insanity," Thornton said.The U.S. Supreme Court has what could be a precedent setting case under review, based on an arrest using thermal cameras. The American Civil Liberties Union argues that thermal imaging technology "enables the authorities to breach secrecy without physical intrusion," as recorded in a brief recently filed with the court. In 1996, two Seymour men were charged with cultivating marijuana after police used thermal imaging to detect the heat from their growing lamps. They appealed their conviction to the state Supreme Court and claimed their fourth amendment rights to privacy had been violated. A judge upheld the conviction.Phil Tegeler, Connecticut Civil Liberties Union's legal director, said the CCLU "fortunately hasn't seen enough cases in the state," to take action, but added "it's an area of great concern...and I'm sure there are more coming."He said the constitution gives persons the right to privacy, and that the cameras just should not be used in areas where privacy is expected.West Haven police don't buy that argument. "There's no expectation of privacy for heat that's leaving a house," Jarvie said. "Obviously people who are breaking the law won't like this technology."Jarvie said he didn't know what would happen if the Supreme Court limits thermal camera use in drug surveillance, but even though the camera's main purpose is drug enforcement, its capable of a lot more. It can show officers hidden compartments in houses and cars, areas where heat buildup may be different than surrounding areas. Drugs or guns may be stored in such areas.It can be used along the shoreline to look for lost boaters, Jarvie said. The camera can see through fog and smoke and see persons floating on top of water. Also, it can be used in accident investigation, because the camera can pick up the heat of tire marks where there is no visible trace of a skid on the pavement. The camera can also detect heat from trace amounts of bodily fluids that may be embedded in carpet or on walls for possible use in homicide investigations.Jarvie said police will use the camera to quickly find fleeing suspects or lost children or elderly people. It has a half-mile visual range and can be used in an aircraft or from the roof of a building. It can be connected to a video camera to record what officers see. The 2.5 pound camera can operate in minus 40-degree temperatures to over 100-degree temperatures.Jarvie said the camera will be made available to the fire department and all police shifts. Jarvie said a judge would not grant a search warrant for suspected drug cultivator's dwelling based solely on use of a thermal image."The camera is just a probable cause tool, one thing we need, but we compile a whole host of other things," he said. Note: The West Haven police department can turn night into day. Complete Title: Heat-Seeking Cameras Aid Cops, Upset Civil Liberty GroupsSource: New Haven Register (CT)Author: Joe McGurk, Register Staff Published: April 29, 2001 Copyright: 2001, New Haven RegisterContact: letters nhregister.comWebsite: Articles - Thermal Imaging
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Comment #9 posted by kaptinemo on May 01, 2001 at 04:30:26 PT:
DdC, Thank you for those quotes
I'm always on the lookout for new information; you've provided all of us with some very intriguing paths to research. I've long been aware of the clandestine forces that are at work in shaping public opinion to their benefit - and the country's detriment - but you've disclosed additional sources of information about them that I was unaware of.That's what's so great about this medium...and why pols fear it so much. Keep up the good work!
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Comment #8 posted by DdC on April 29, 2001 at 19:39:35 PT
Give Me Liberty or Give Me!
Give Me Liberty or Give Me!"In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man brave, hated, and scorned. When his cause succeeds, however, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain"Here in America we are descended in blood and in spirit from revolutionists and rebels--men and women who dare to disssent from accepted doctrine. As their heirs, may we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion."Dwight D. Eisenhower, Address, May 31, 1954"Every great advance in....knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority." Julian Huxley, "Lay Sermons""To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men." Abraham Lincoln"A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves." Bertrand de Jouvenal"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it."Frederic Bastiat - (1801-1850) in his book Economic Sophisms"Whenever the offence inspires less horror than the punishment, the rigor of penal law is obliged to give way to the common feelings of mankind." Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire"If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their money, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks], will deprive the people of their property until their children will wake up homeless onthe continent their fathers conquered." Thomas Jefferson"Liberty is the only thing you cannot have unless you are willing to give it to others." Willian Allen White (1868-1944) Editor, Emporia Gazette"Every law that was ever written opened up a new way to graft." Robert Heinlein, Jim Marlowe in "Red Planet""When the people fear the government, you have tyranny. When the government fears the people, you have freedom." Thomas Paine"This is a government of the people, by the people and for the people no longer. It is a government of corporations, by corporations, and for corporations."President Rutherford B. Hayes"In a small Swiss city sits an international organization so obscure and secretive....Control of the institution, the Bank for International Settlements, lies with some of the world's most powerful and least visible men: the heads of 32 central banks, officials able to shift billions of dollars and alter the course of economies at the stroke of a pen."Keith Bradsher of the New York Times, August 5, 1995"The few who can understand the system (Federal Reserve) will be so interested in its profits, or so dependent on its favors, that there will be no opposition from that class, while on the other hand, the great body of the people mentally incapable of comprehending the tremendous advantage that capital derives from the system, will bear its burdens without complaint, and perhaps without even suspecting that the system is inimical to their interests." Rothschild Brothers of London"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." H.L. Mencken"Our job is to give people not what they want, but what we decide they ought to have." Richard Salant, former President of CBS News"A nation of well informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the region of ignorance that tyranny begins." - Benjamin Franklin"A politician normally prospers under democracy in proportion ... as he excels in the invention of imaginary perils and imaginary defenses against them." H. L. Mencken, 1918"I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war."Abraham Lincoln - In a letter written to William Elkin less than five months before he was assassinated."Those in possession of absolute power can not only prophesy and make their prophecies come true, but they can also lie and make their lies come true."Eric Hoffer (1902-83), U.S. philosopher. "The Passionate State of Mind",aph. 78 (1955)"In March, 1915, the J.P. Morgan interests, the steel, shipbuilding, and powder interest, and their subsidiary organizations, got together 12 men high up in the newspaper world and employed them to select the most influential newspapers in the United States and sufficient number of them to control generally the policy of the daily press....They found it was only necessary to purchase the control of 25 of the greatest papers.An agreement was reached; the policy of the papers was bought, to be paid for by the month; an editor was furnished for each paper to properly supervise and edit information regarding the questions of preparedness, militarism, financial policies, and other things of national and international nature considered vital to the interests of the purchasers. U.S. Congressman Oscar Callaway, 1917"Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain: Manuscript note, c.1882"Give me control over a nation's currency and I care not who makes its laws." [Baron M.A. Rothschild (1744 - 1812)] they took the fourth amendment, I was quiet because I didn't deal drugs. When they took the sixth amendment, I was quiet because I was innocent. When they took the second amendment, I was quiet because I didn't own a gun. Now they've taken the first amendment, and I can say nothing about it.unknown"When you can't say 'fuck,' you can't say 'Fuck the government.'" Lenny BruceFirst Job of Government: Protect people from govermment. Second Job of Government: Protect people from each other It must *never* be the job of government to protect people from themselves. Paul's Police State Cometh & The Congressional Record (House) During Debate On The SENSE OF THE HOUSE THAT THE UNITED STATES MUST REMAIN COMMITTED TO COMBATING ILLEGAL DRUGS Sacramental Cannabis Food Fuel Fiber FARM-aceuticals Hardrug&Booze Alternative Eliminated from the Free Market by Legislation and Administrated Education Depravation!Homepage do you think they call it dope? Hemp: The Invisible Prohibition Revealed The Elkhorn ManifestoWhat do Hemp and Hitler have in common?World War II, that's what. AND HEMP The Untold Story they call it dope!
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Comment #7 posted by Rainbow on April 29, 2001 at 15:10:15 PT
An idea
I challenge the people to start hanging out at supermarket parking lots in this fine community.We might see several false positives. The more the merrier. Is there a freedom of information act in this community.Force these guys to hand over tapes for review to validate the real usefulnes of this 13K piece of anti-constitution equipement.I can't wait for it to come here. I will frequent the parking lots and call the police and let them waste their money.These bozos are getting close to way over the top. But once they go over they probably will not come back until we witness a Boston Tea party in Bob barr's district.Rainbow
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Comment #6 posted by schmeff c. on April 29, 2001 at 14:16:14 PT
Good for the goose....
As the good Kaptinemo explained, these thermal-imaging cameras can track the activities of warm bodies thru the walls of buildings and glean immense amounts of information concerning the activities of said warm bodies behind closed doors. They can reveal two people making love...or making war.I bring this up because my mother was for a brief time married to a Denver cop; a man who was the epitome of the control-freak mentality that attracts the insecure bully to the field of law enforcement. In dealing with the physical and verbal abuse from this "public servant", we discovered that domestic violence is characteristic that seems to dog the LEO's in numbers far in excess of the general population. It would seem that Officer Friendly is often frustrated by the protocols that make it difficult to properly bash the heads of unarmed tokers, and so he takes his frustration out on his/her spouse and children. Alcoholism and substance abuse are also serious issues dogging the LEO community.So I would like to urge any group concerned with civil liberties to buy, rent, borrow or steal several of these thermal imaging devices, get a big boxload of video tapes, and start taping the activities of Officer Friendly after s/he gets off work.I suspect that the first few times these tapes are presented in the divorce proceedings of a few Mrs. Friendly's, we will discover that the police state has a different standard of privacy for the Gestapo than they do for the sheeple.
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Comment #5 posted by mayan on April 29, 2001 at 13:31:04 PT
only the guilty
 The argument that you don't have anything to fear if you are innocent is laughable. We fear losing our rights to this ever increasing fascist, police-state! Who would be a cop besides an intellectually bankrupt inbred anyway? The "good guys" are the guilty ones. When half of our population is criminalized for consensual activity, law enforcement loses the confidence & cooperation of the citizenry. Counterproductive. Duh! I wonder if this camera is being used to see who has the freshest donuts. 
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Comment #4 posted by MILITANT X on April 29, 2001 at 11:27:35 PT
Yup, the cops aint got time to recover yer stuff after a burglary, or even hunt for the bad guy, hell, they don't properly investigate ANYTHING anymore.Hell no!The PRISON INDUSTRY needs those beds filled.Rapists are just too hard to find.Car stolen? ...don't worry, it'll probably turn up.It is just too damn bad none of these "Kingpins" we always here about has had the idea to equip and arm a small task force to play a more substantial role in the "Drug War".I think it would be comical to watch the reactions of the "drug warriors" if the smugglers started using ...oh...say air to air missiles, or maybe opened up with 50 cal when harrassed by the coast guard helos.Yeah, war is easy when your "enemy" is not armed and not violent anyway.Personmaly I'd laugh my ass off if a sniper was to open up on one of these pigs while it was using it's little snoop toy.
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Comment #3 posted by kaptinemo on April 29, 2001 at 08:53:07 PT:
The ...dubious...wonders of technology
"The only persons who won't like the camera are criminals, police Sgt. John Jarvie said, because "criminals use the element of darkness to their benefit."Now where have I heard that before? Oh, yes, the guys in the black trenchcoats that tortured and murdered their way across Europe - until our parents helped put a stop to it. That wonderful bunch of guys know by their home team as GeheimeStadtsPolizei alias the Gestapo. They had a saying that "Only the guilty need fear."It is something to note, is it not, that the vast majority of no-knock warrants are served at night, as well? Probably in hope that the neighbors will not see their fellow citizens rights being violated. How very convenient.But what is most troubling is the nature of the technology, itself. It gathers all available thermal energy, but then converts it into a false image that registers degrees of intensity. When Officer Boot points this thing at your home, he can see your kids playing, your big, dumb, lovable Lab chasing Mr. Kitty, running amok and knocking over the trash can, food cooking on the stove...or two people making love. In short, it's a perv's wet dream come true.Friends, there has not been a single instance of technology that has been placed in the hands of LEOs that have not been abused either for personal gratification... or all the way up to political corruption. From the crudest wiretaps to the most sophisticated laser reflective sound recording equipment, Officer Boot has used it all...against you.""The camera is just a probable cause tool, one thing we need, but we compile a whole host of other things," he said." Remember, he said it was used for 'probable cause'. And how could he develop probable cause to even use it? By suspicion of wrongdoing. And how would he arrive at that suspicion? Through detective work? Asking around? Checking your trash?Of course not. He'll just cruise around trhe neighborhood with this thing, and anybody's house he points it at, if it registers a seemingly inordinately high amount of heat escaping from it, then bingo! he's got his probable cause.Based upon the suspicion that the entire populace is gulity and in need of monitoring.Only thuh gil-tee need fee-ah! Sieg Heil, Ya'all! 
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Comment #2 posted by sm247 on April 29, 2001 at 08:21:15 PT
Grow your own
It can be used along the shoreline to look for lost boaters, Jarvie said. The camera can see through fog and   smoke and see persons floating on top of water. Also, it can be used in accident investigation, because the   camera can pick up the heat of tire marks where there is no visible trace of a skid on the pavement.    The camera can also detect heat from trace amounts of bodily fluids that may be embedded in carpet or on walls   for possible use in homicide investigations.   Jarvie said police will use the camera to quickly find fleeing suspects or lost children or elderly people. These uses are quite acceptable and we encourage this type of use to all law enforcement but to look for heat escaping from a home is a waste of police recources. The police should encourage users to "grow their own" this would help them shut down the black market .
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Comment #1 posted by NoWay on April 29, 2001 at 07:38:10 PT
Even poeple on our side.
"He said the constitution gives persons the right to privacy."The Constitution was written "By The People" as instructions and rules for the Government. Not the other way around. If we forget this, we are lost.
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