The Million Dollar Solution to the Ten Dollar Problem

I’m sure you’ve all heard about the police officer in New York who accidentally shot another officer who was in plain clothes. Well it looks like New York is looking into a million dollar solution to the problem…,2933,525257,00.html

They want to create guns that can recognize another officer’s gun. Here is what they are coming up with…

One idea involves the use of radio frequency tags that would allow officers to pinpoint where other cops are in the city, Browne said. Another involves tags that would work gun-to-gun and use an infrared sensor: When a weapon is pulled from an officer’s holster it would trigger a signal that would be sent to the gun of a nearby officer. The signal may be seen or heard.

Well let us look at the technological problem with either case. The first is the fact that if the police can located other officers via radio transmission then so can any body else with the correct equipment. That means you can easily pinpoint an undercover of plain clothed officer. I’m sure criminals would jump for joy to have this technology.

Then there is the idea of using an infrared sensor on the gun. This again can be replicated and used by criminals to disable police officers’ guns. Also infrared is line of sight so if on officer was partially behind cover there is a good change the sensor will not function as desired anyways.

Now let us look at the cheap solution. Training. The plain clothed officer should have never been shot by the uniformed officer because police should try to identify their target if at all possible. I’m highly doubting a plain clothed officer would be dumb enough to pull a gun on any uniformed officer. That doesn’t make sense so the threat to the uniformed officer shouldn’t be anything at all since no gun would be drawn on them. Simple, elegant, and much more reliable then any gun disabling technology. Also it’s harder for criminals to use it to disarm the officers. Not every problem needs to be solved through the use of expensive technology.