Profiles in Progressive Policing: Post Falls, Idaho - Technology and Communications -

Profiles in Progressive Policing: Post Falls, Idaho

Vision & technology set it apart



Dale Stockton | From the January 2012 Issue Friday, January 20, 2012


Editor's note: Please click on the gallery below and to the right to view the innovations.

Post Falls, Idaho PD's Vision & Technology

Gallery 1

Post Falls PD Cruiser

1. A Code 3 LED lightbar provides high visibility and minimal power draw. The low profile improves fuel economy. 2.The LPR cars are each equipped with four Federal Signal PIPS Slate LPR cameras. Post Falls Police Department (PFPD) is tied in with a regional LPR system that consists of both mobile and fixed LPR cameras. The agency hosts the LPR data. The system has been invaluable in solving many serious cases, including robberies and homicides.   3. 700-MHz radio system antennas provide spatial diversity; by placing the antennas at opposite sides of the vehicle, the opportunity for effective transmit and receive dramatically increases. The antenna on the driver side is also equipped with a satellite antenna, which provides GPS tracking capability for automatic vehicle location through the agency’s computer aided dispatch system.   4. This antenna connects with a 2.4-GHz wireless system that provides broadband capability in approximately 80% of the jurisdiction policed by PFPD. This system is being augmented by a new MiFi cellular unit, turning each car into a mobile hot spot.   5. The Setina pushbar provides a high level of utility.   6.PFPD uses a takehome patrol vehicle program. The majority of the cars are Chevrolet Impalas and they have served the department well. The vehicles are equipped with a V6 engine, which has proved to be more than adequate for municipal policing and is fuel-efficient. The department is also trying out three V6-equipped Dodge Chargers.   7. High-visibility graphics provide a progressive and unique appearance. After extensive discussion with patrol personnel, the department opted not to use reflective markings. The graphics were obtained from Advanced Graphics Imaging Solutions (

Gallery 1

Post Falls PD Cruiser Interior

1. Coban in-car video system has pre-event capability and allows for a seamless download of video via wireless hot spots. 2. The Data911 display provides sufficient brightness to be fully readable in daylight. It can be quickly dimmed and even blacked out when needed. The display uses a Havis mount.   3. The driver’s license scanner supports an electronic citation system and uses software from Advanced Public Safety ( The driver’s license feeds into the device similar to the way an ATM takes in a debit card.   4. A full-sized Data911 keyboard is mounted on a Jotto Desk.   5. PFPD officers’ uniforms come from Bratwear and are comfortable, practical and present a professional appearance.   6. Bushmaster .223 caliber assault carbine.   7. Remington 870 shotgun converted to less-lethal capability.   8. Every PFPD officer is provided Safariland Extreme body armor with a soft trauma plate. An exterior carrier from Safariland provides maximum comfort and increased utility. Officers are issued S&W M&P .40 caliber pistols.   9. Streamlight pocket flashlights are provided to officers. Many officers clip the flashlight to their vest or belt so they always have a light readily available. Streamlight SL20X rechargeables are issued to each officer.   10. After extensive training, officers are provided Taser X26s. The devices have proven very effective.   11. Officers use Motorola lapel microphones connected to Motorola 1500 portable radios.  

Gallery 1

Post Falls PD Motorcycle

1. Two Kawasaki Contour 1400s have recently replaced aging KZ1000s. The bikes come equipped with heated handgrips and seats, essential for cold Idaho winters. Antilock brakes and rear-wheel traction-control improve safety.  2. Both of the department’s Kawasaki motorcycles are equipped with MPH radar units. Although not visible in this photo, the motorcycles are also equipped with Laser Technology LIDAR units mounted on the right side.   3. Inside the compartment on the back of the bike, the department wires in a Panasonic CF19 Toughbook. This provides full information-access capability to motor officers.   4. The bikes use Whelen emergency lighting and a Code 3 siren mounted on the front.   5. Motor officers use special wired communication systems that permit quick tie-in to the bike’s Motorola 5000 radio.  

Gallery 1

Post Falls PD Dispatch Work Station

1. 55" Westinghouse monitors provide real-time video awareness of key areas in the community. There are six dispatch work stations like this one and each has one of these large monitors and the displays/functionality described below. Minimum staffing is two dispatchers with up to four during peak periods. 2. Each dispatch station has four Cinemassive displays. The system provides general Internet access and email capability.   3. The department uses a Spillman computer-aided dispatch system (CAD), providing full awareness of active and pending calls, as well as location of all units in the field.   4. The map portion of the CAD system shows the location of all incidents and resources. Status and position of units can be determined at a glance.   5. The department is tied into the Idaho Law Enforcement Telecommunications System and can make use of the statewide network as well as NCIC and NLETS systems.   6. An ESRI mapping system provides additional capabilities such as address look-up.   7. The Federal Signal LPR system uses BOSS (Back Office System Software), which provides a real-time notification to dispatch when there’s an alert from one of the fixed LPR cameras. Dispatchers can also query the LPR system for information to assist in evolving incidents.   8. Plantronics wireless headsets have proven to be comfortable and functional.   9. Herman Miller dispatch chairs provide comfort and support during long dispatch shifts.   10. The secondary keyboard provides dedicated quick access for maintenance and preference settings on the software and hardware systems.

Gallery 1

Post Falls PD Cruiser Trunk

1. Each car carries a high-resolution digital camera. PFPD uses Nikon Coolpix and Sony Cybershot cameras—easy to use and extremely valuable in evidence collection. 2. The 700-MHz CalAmp (formerly DataRadio) system has served the department well by providing reliable data transfer.   3. Federal Signal’s PIPS SuperX processor unit provides support for the LPR function and prevents it from impacting the car’s mobile computer capability.   4. Although not visible in the photo, a Stopstick is mounted in the trunk of the patrol car for quick deployment. The devices are capable of bringing a quick end to a problematic pursuit.   5. Coban in-car video processor and data storage allows for wireless video transfer through secure hotspots strategically located around the city. The data transfer occurs automatically.   6. The Data911 computer processing unit provides a high level of durability. Overall, the PFPD system allows officers in the field to access all department information systems. A patrol officer can accomplish everything that a detective at a desk can do, resulting in increased time in the field.   7. Patrol vehicles carry a fully capable ABC-rated fire extinguisher.   8. The electronics in the trunk are mounted on a slide-out tray provided by Havis. This makes for easy access and keeps the vulnerable equipment out of harm’s way.   9. Coban UPS (uninterruptable power supply) ensures that the in-car video system is always operational and that the data is retained.    10. Patrol vehicles don’t carry spare tires, permitting the space to be used for the Motorola 2500 series mobile radio.  

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Dale StocktonThe editor of Law Officer Magazine, Dale Stockton is a 32-year-veteran of law enforcement.


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