LETS and its committment to Communications & Officer Safety Main  
Law Enforcement Technology LETS  
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1977 - 2015
Decades of experience transitions into sponsoring

 Citizens Community Watch
 

On-line Conferences and ACTION on the Streets: The Past, Present and the Hopeful Future

It all began in 1977 sitting in Paramount Studio's Star Trek bridge set on the floor of the Los Angeles Convention Center. My partners and I had booked the convention center for a trade show we dubbed CalCom-77. The theme was simple then: The future of Personal & Business Communications, Data Communications and Wireless Home/Business Security.

I would have said "You're crazy" if anyone had told me the trade show would turn into an impromptu Star Trek convention of sorts. Trekkies lined up around the block eager to get in.

Next came a new company and partnership with a high tech robotics firm specializing in game robots. The ESRD-1 (Emergency Services Robotic Device) was born. Little did I know being on the cover of Security World International's trade magazine would launch one of the most exciting and educational adventures of my life.

In this old photo ESRD-1 is getting a final check before heading off to the sound stage for the television show That's Incredible. ESRD-1 would be featured on two segments of this #1 rated prime time show.

That's Incredible's two episodes brought the security industry and law enforcement leaders to our door. Soon we were working on Technology Transfer to law enforcement from our Nation's top laboratories (Sandia and Lawrence Livermore). I found a need for specialized seminars for police on such topics and wrapped them around national trade shows like Comdex and Laptop Expos.

Back at home, even while I was traveling the country, our engineers were pioneering new products for law enforcement with a priority being officer safety.

An officer in trouble or just wishing to deploy his partner, taps a transmitter on his utility belt.  We train the working dog to wait for the full window drop, then exit the passenger side window.  A skid resistant strip is applied to both side of the door panel and a reflective strip on the glass to key the handler and the dog to the successful opening of the window.

The K-9 will generally move to where his partner needs assistance, even if out of view.  Not only is this an effective officer safety tool, but an excellent interdiction tactic for unsuspecting bag guys. Picture here is a third generation K9 working with our products.

I would learn from the best and get his "pick of the litter" to travel the country and teach. Called at first, "Demo" by his police buddies, my young K9 got his working name thanks to Chuck Norris and Off Road Racing legend Ivan "Ironman" Stewart in the High Desert Racing Association. As a pup, he crossed trained in Search/Rescue.  10 weeks old at the time he met his first jackrabbit, crashed and burned in the Norris pit at the Frontier 500, amused, Norris asked if he was a "desert fox" and the handle "Rommel" stuck.

 

 

 

It's not possible to cover all the amazing things we experience from 1977 to the early 1990's on a website page. 1985 was a key year building BBS networks online for the first time.The same year, I spoke about it at the International Association of Chiefs of Police in Houston, Texas addressing the value of computer networking between police and communities. It would be a singular event that changed my life and mission forever. Law Enforcement Technology Solutions (LETS) would become my passion and mission in my twilight years.

 

It happened on April 30, 1992 when LETS assisted LAPD and CHP with technology support during the Los Angeles riots. In all my years of providing leading edge technology, producing seminars and trade shows for law enforcement around the nation, I would learn much from this major incident. In addition to supplying needed laptop computers to the CHP Rosewood Command Post, LETS spent four days on the street documenting and reporting incidents to its Internet audience.

That power of the Internet would be harnessed again in a devastating January 17, 1994 earthquake in Northridge, California. Strangers helping strangers in the California Forum, SafetyNet on CompuServe and groups on AOL revealed a potential that would craft the future for LETS. Law enforcement, public safety professionals and everyday people communicated on personal computers with worried out of state family members who couldn't dial into California. Loved ones were found and information flowed back to family. It wasn't planned, it emerged and took on a life of its own. We're just a small part of that story and here's where the path lead us.

 

 


 


On October 15, 1991, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial was dedicated in Washington D.C. to honor the more than 14,000 officers slain in the line of duty. An inscription on the memorial by Vivian Eney, survivor, says, "It is not how these officers died that made them heroes, it is how they lived."

 

 

 

 

In what would be an Internet first for law enforcement, LETS provided a laptop computer and cellular modem to former Reno, NV police officer Tim Dees for a very special project. Tim's task was to "cybercast" Vivian Eney's keynote speech to thousands of officers and their supporters on CompuServe's Police Forum. Tim would later to become an author of the book "Online Services for Law Enforcement" and the first editor-in-chief at Officer.com. It was so cold that night in our Nation's capital, the laptop's Liquid Crystal Display actually froze as Tim was typing. Un-phased, every word of Mrs. Eney's address reached the international cybercast audience. Days later, when she heard about it, Mrs. Eney would say she had an inner feeling that her slain husband's spirit and many other's were with her that night.

 

 

 

In 1995, thanks again to Internet technology, LETS had the distinct pleasure to meet, sponsor a tour and work with an amazing Scottish law enforcement officer, Constable Detective James McNulty. Of the many projects we have lent a hand to over the years, Partners in Safety was one of the most amazing and successful thanks to a man described by those who came to love him as "a small man with a cheeky smile, a quick wit, and an amazing memory for people and places... a visionary and a pioneer of online email discussion groups ... Jim saw what a wonderful opportunity there was to bring police officers from around the world closer together. He was probably the first "online cop" in this country. Jim always fought for what he believed in, even though that often brought him into conflict with the authorities."

When a number of unarmed British offers had been shot to death in the UK, Jim reported on this our CompuServe Police Forum. A Lieutenant with Las Vegas Metro PD inquired why the officer hadn't been wearing his body armor, and was horrified to learn that British police officers were not routinely supplied with protective clothing. This officer immediately offered his old set of body armor to any British police officer who wanted it.

Jim pointed out that one set of body armor would not change anything, and within days he was inundated with offers from all over America, of second-hand body armor. Jim persuaded Richard Branson to fly the armor over to Britain free of charge, and a group of dedicated volunteers on both sides of the Atlantic sorted, packed and distributed the armor. The 'powers that be' were not happy, and great pressure was put on Jim to stop the project, but he would not back down. As long as British officers wanted this protection, he would continue to supply it, until police forces routinely issued it themselves.

 

 

Law Enforcement Technology

Monterey Deputy Sheriff, Sgt. John DiCarlo took on the task of collecting body armor from California's law enforcement officers and their agencies. The results were nothing less than phenomenal bolstered by a ten-day tour throughout California with Constable Detective James McNulty and his charming wife Marie.

Jim would be called on the carpet by British Parliamentarians who cried "The ballistic properties of these vests from America have not been tested!" Undaunted and unafraid of criticism, Jim McNulty pulled at his uniform shirt and replied "With all due respects Sirs, we have tested the ballistic properties of these cotton shirts!"

 

 

 

Our friend Jim McNulty, Partners in Safety, Care of Police Survivors Founder and Director passed away October, 1 2004. This remarkable man had leukemia yet refused to allow it to control his life and only ever referring to it as "a nuisance". He had already fought and beaten Hodgkin's disease, tonsil cancer, and skin cancer before doctors told him that the leukemia was terminal, but he proved them wrong over and over again with his sheer determination to live.

Despite his ill health, Jim never stopped thinking of other people and how he could help them. He was determined that police officers who had paid the ultimate sacrifice should not be forgotten, and that their families should be given the support they needed, to rebuild their shattered lives.

I want people who are reading this page to know what a joy it has been for me, just an ordinary person, to have been in the company of heroes that protect and serve around the world. It is humbling and deeply inspirational at the same time.


Law Enforcement Technology From those humble beginnings:

The depth of "cyber-space" created a vision; from the civil unrest in Los Angeles in 1992, wildfires in 1993 and the earthquake in 1994 our cyber space resources grew. By May of 1995 the network had expanded and dedicated citizens, law enforcement leaders and police officers found common interest in facing public safety issues in this public forum. California Attorney General Dan Lungren (now a member of Congress) honored us with his first cruise on the "Information Super-highway" on May 5, 1995. (pictured above from his DOJ capitol office) His early leadership in bringing improvements to law enforcement information systems and access by both police and the public is historical. It has served as a strong inspiration to us.



 From the Streets to the Capitol :

1995 was a tragic year for law enforcement. The count of officers lost in the line of duty climbed while crimes rates began to drop. More violent offenders and parolees in fear of three strikes often ran from, then fought police, with sometimes deadly consequences. Through our expanding net connections, a call for support of tougher laws against "parolees at large" emerged. Officers, citizens, widows and daughters came face to face with legislators to present their resolution on public safety.
 

Pictured left to right (left-hand photo) is Dave Jenest testifying on the status of DOJ's VCIN, Kyle Haynes, widow of a slain Oakland police officer and his partner by a parolee at large, Niki Trejo, daughter of slain Sonoma County Deputy Sgt, Frank Trejo, Jeff Thompson with the California Correctional Officer's Association, Sgt. Tom Cooper, Sacramento Police Department relating the incidents of violent gun battles here by PALS and Deputy Sheriff, Sgt. John DiCarlo who served as spokesperson for our group. Officers attending the 1995 California Law Enforcement Memorial joined in signing the resolution presented to the Assembly's Public Safety Committee. With the mission accomplished and partnerships sealed, our on-line family moved on to other joint projects and expanding the local effort to embrace this technology to its fullest. John and Tom are retired now but continue private sector roles in Public Safety.



Law Enforcement Technology Back to the Streets:

   The Internet, Social Networks and CDPD Cellular took to the streets to demonstrate that technology could be used to it's fullest even on a bicycle. Community Watch high-tech Bike Patrol became a reality. With initial support from AT&T Wireless, Telepad and a host of technology partners, volunteers put the technology to the test. From live reports fed to the Internet at the Unabomber's last crime scene, to uploading on line crime reports to the Sacramento Police Department's innovative web page, the system was beta tested on the street.

 


The Nation's First Major CyberCast
1997 Virtual Community Watch - Online Conference Series

August 19th - Fight Back - Best selling author, 25 year DEA veteran - Mike Levine



Law Enforcement TechnologySmoke Signals don't work at night! PowWow Does!

With one of the first Internet applications to bring live content to users, it was Tribal Voice's Pow Wow conferencing connection, where Community Watch could message "real time" between its Center and Patrol Bike. Off duty officers used Pow Wow for real time meetings with volunteers. Center staff began expanding the group's web pages and exploring the possibilities of a 24 virtual Community Watch. With a successful launch on National Night Out, August 4, 1998, Pow Wow emerged as the favorite. An e-mail and phone call to Tribal Voice's marketing folks set the wheels in motion. Community (Neighborhood) Watch was born in mere days. Pow Wow is long gone now but has been replaced by even more advanced technology we use every day.



Law Enforcement Technology National Night Out and a New Community:

The "15th Annual National Night Out" (NNO), was a unique crime/drug prevention event sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW). Last year's National Night Out campaign involved citizens, law enforcement agencies, civic groups, businesses, neighborhood organizations and local officials from 9,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide. In all, 30.5 million people participated in NNO 1997. The "15th Annual NNO" was the largest ever according to the sponsors. We added a new dimension with our unique Virtual Community Watch in Pow Wow!

Virtual Community Watch - Online Conference Series was produced weekly until the third party takeover of Tribal Voice.

 



Virtual Community Watch - Online Conference Series is designed to:    
  • Build a national network among Neighborhood Watch groups, community police and citizens;
  • Heighten crime prevention awareness and provide needed online resources;
  • Generate support for, and participation in, more local anticrime programs and national events;
  • Strengthen neighborhood efforts, police-community partnerships and government support;
  • Send a message to criminals: neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.


Law Enforcement Technology The Future is what we make of it!

With Tribal Voice's generous support years ago, I looked for on line resources to grow with the needs of our Community members. This will always be a work in progress. Our friends from past events will join in. We've enjoyed programs like the one where we were joined by best selling author Mike Levine, who has served as a mentor to our Community Watch strategies. A 25 year DEA veteran, highly decorated international deep cover agent, witnessed, first hand, the failure of "The War on Drugs". In Mike's own words, "After my brother, a heroin addict for 25 years, committed suicide and my son, a highly decorated New York City police officer was killed by crack addicts during a holdup, I had experienced enough. I decided I would use whatever talents God gave me and training the government gave me, against the criminals responsible for the immense and deadly fraud known as The War on Drugs." We are honored to count Mike among the many excellent resources you'll find in our Virtual Watch Community.


That Future is NOW:

In 2015 we will migrate from our Community Policing Facebook private group back to neighborhoodlink.com

We'll also expand our Crimewatch Community Patrols and Center in 2015.

After 20 years of lobbying and participation in APCO-25 we have a victory to celebrate:

On Thursday, February 22, 2012, President Obama signed legislation that would allocate the D-Block to public safety. This is a major victory for our first responder community and was a top priority for LETS.

Rare from The Congress, D-Block is fully funded to the tune of $7 billion. LETS may very well be in position to tap those funds as seed or block grants for emerging compatible technology application like this:
 

RELIABLE
PORTABLE
AFFORDABLE

  • Rapid deployment saves time and volunteer resources.
     
  • Accessibility from either mobile platform or Crimewatch Center.
     
  • Multiple levels of access to allow public or secure viewing.

ON THE STREET TODAY: The Cisco WVC210 Wireless-G Pan Tilt Zoom Internet Video Camera helps us monitor and protect assets at our Crimewatch Center from anywhere in the world. Any member can view and control the camera's full pan, tilt, and zoom capabilities with their web browser.

See it now: CLICK HERE for Front Gate Camera 1 or CLICK HERE for Rear Gate Camera in our beta test area

Dual codecs in this versatile camera provide flexibility in determining image quality versus storage and bandwidth requirements. The Cisco WVC210 camera supports a number of connection protocols, so you can view images on everything from 3G and Wi-Fi phones to PCs.

Additional features include:

•Support for recording in low-light environments (1 Lux at F2.0)
•Two-way audio alongside an embedded microphone, external speaker, and microphone ports
•Up to 10 simultaneous connections for remote viewing
•1/4-inch complementary metal oxide semiconductor sensor
•Simultaneous MPEG-4 and MJPEG encoding
•Real Time Streaming Protocol for video and audio
•Third Generation Partnership Project for video viewing on 3G mobile phones
•Motion detection with event notifications
 

 

 


(2012) Virtual world technology brings us even closer to our dream of mentoring young people, supporting our Law Enforcement officers, First Responders and Military personnel in harms way. We honor them in very unique ways today.
 

Blurring the line between reality and imagination
CLICK BANNER TO REGISTER NOW
 

A new virtual world were our troops can join their spouse in a unique family friendly village, share intimate conversation in your own virtual apartment or explore the world together with your children and friends. You will find The Village inspirational and other parts of the world entertaining and fun at the same time. Software download and install is easy and secure.


Enjoy our July 4th 2009 Groundbreaking and Salute to Veterans Past and Present

July 4th
CLICK TO VIEW

I cannot tell you how this chapter of my own life will end... only that we face bigger challenges today than we did in the 1990's. Our world seems to have changed and not for the better in many ways. What was once an opportunity now feels more like a failure unless Margaret Meade's quote "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has" can be our calling.

 




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