News >> Browse Articles >> Law Enforcement News


City Cops Unveil New Crime-Fighting Tools

The Philadelphia Daily News via YellowBrix

April 15, 2010

PHILADELPHIA – Philadelphia police have a new crime-fighting tool, thanks in part to the city’s thugs.

Police bigwigs yesterday unveiled their Mobile Investigative Response Vehicles, two huge, technologically trumped-up vans that will enable detectives to do more police work at crime scenes instead of schlepping back to the office. Each cost $485,000 and was funded by assets forfeited by criminals and by grants from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Two years in the making, the white Dodge Sprinter vans are packed with electronic gadgetry from computers and global-positioning systems to videocameras with microwave transmitters.

Such gear will allow investigators to do things they previously had to do in the office, such as take and record witness statements and access all the department’s databases, said Gery Cardenas, the department’s information-technology director.

They’ll be field-tested during the next few weeks and tweaked as detectives suggest improvements, Cardenas said.

Eventually, investigators will be able to do other tasks in the vans as well, such as access databases of other city agencies and access the fingerprint identification system, Commissioner Charles Ramsey said.

“We unfortunately have more than enough [crime] scenes, so these will be pretty busy,” Ramsey said.

The vans were a priority for Ramsey when he took over Philly’s top-cop post. The Washington, D.C., force, which Ramsey helmed from 1998 until 2006, had similar vehicles that increased investigators’ efficiency, he said.

The vans are tall and thin to navigate narrow streets. They look like a cross between a recreational camper and a TV news van, with a satellite perched on top.

To see more of the Philadelphia Daily News, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to

Copyright © 2010, Philadelphia Daily News

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

For reprints, email, call 800-374-7985 or 847-635-6550, send a fax to 847-635-6968, or write to The Permissions Group Inc., 1247 Milwaukee Ave., Suite 303, Glenview, IL 60025, USA.

PoliceLink School Finder

Save time in your search for a degree program. Use PoliceLink's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.