To market,to market,to turn the cops hi-tech

Hi-tech vehicles protected from explosives and chemicals,firing simulators with videos on hostage rescue and a Global Positioning System-not to mention the basics like bulletproof jackets...

Written by Shweta Desai | Mumbai | Published: January 13, 2009 3:38 am

Hi-tech vehicles protected from explosives and chemicals,firing simulators with videos on hostage rescue and a Global Positioning System — not to mention the basics like bulletproof jackets,non-skid shoes and day and night vision binoculars — will ensure that the Mumbai police never again feel under-equipped as they did while tackling the terrorists who took the city hostage.

The shopping list,which reads almost as if it were made for the army,marks the police’s first major purchase since 26/11. They invited tenders for some of the equipment on Monday.

Among the items is a 74 centimetre-tall robot,armed with laser-equipped shotguns and explosive disruptors,who will climb steps and look for explosives and chemicals wherever their presence is suspected. Others include a Recoiless Disrupter,which will disengage many kinds of Improvised Explosive Devices. A portable non-linear junction detector will detect devices with electronic fuses,while a terra-Hertz passive imaging system will provide images of concealed objects up to 25 m away.

“These are items we never had and whose need we feel now more than ever,” DCP Vijaysingh Jadhav said.

The state government has sanctioned Rs 127 crore for the upgrade of the force and the purchase is part of the drive. At the security panel’s first meeting on Saturday,Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said the Centre has cleared the import of some of the equipment,sources said.

Three top cops,Hemant Karkare,Ashok Kamte and Vijay Salaskar,had been gunned down despite having worn bulletproof jackets. Now the police have ordered 40 jackets that will cover the whole front,the back torso,both sides and the upper shoulders. The 9mm full metal jacket will be able to sustain cartridges fired from machine guns,such as carbines and AK 47s,from 10 metres for farther. Bulletproof helmets and eye goggles will be part of the gear.

For surveillance,the cops will have advanced CCTV cameras and digital video recorders. A Mumbai Radio Trunking System will improve communication with mobile teams broadcasting from the scene of a crime,VIP meetings or other key sites. Surveillance gear will also include walkie-talkies with a frequency between 820-870 MHZ,body-worn cameras,and cameras with a controller and display mounted on vehicles. The system will transmit real-time digital images directly to a mobile command vehicle.

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