Keep officers and communities safer with these new tech tools
Save time and increase situational awareness using this suite of software and devices
Sponsored by SpartanTek
By Courtney Levin, Police1 BrandFocus Staff
What if you could stop a vehicle pursuit before it even starts? Or easily track the location of your off-lead K9 while in the field? How about increasing your entire department’s situational awareness by being able to pinpoint an officer’s location anytime, anywhere?
Individually, these sound like great ideas that would make an officer’s job a lot easier. Collectively, they’re possible using the solutions developed by SpartanTek.
With the belief that technology should work to benefit law enforcement agencies while simultaneously contributing to the communities they serve, SpartanTek founder Jon McGuire is aiming to change the way police devices are used.
McGuire’s interest in law enforcement came at an early age, as his father was an officer in the 1980s. He remembers hearing stories from his father’s time on the job and was always acutely aware of the dangers of the profession.
“My dad’s biggest question was ‘Am I going home tonight?’” he said.
After spending more than 10 years working for Fortune 500 companies, McGuire decided to blend his experience in software engineering with his passion for helping those in law enforcement. In 2021, he founded SpartanTek and its suite of tech tools.
AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION
Reducing departmental costs, bolstering community transparency, reducing liability and increasing officer safety and efficiency are all tall tasks to tackle on an individual basis. McGuire, however, believes that they can be accomplished simultaneously by taking a proactive and preventative approach to policing utilizing technology.
SpartanTek’s solutions focus on several different facets of law enforcement. Its flagship device aims to deter vehicle pursuits before they happen, helping save the lives of many and preventing unnecessary litigation, particularly in communities with high pursuit rates.
There are approximately 68,000 vehicle pursuits in the United States each year. Since 1979, more than 17,000 individuals have died as a result of vehicle pursuits and nearly 88,000 people have been injured. Hundreds of millions of tax dollars are spent on litigation, money which could be better used within the community, says McGuire.
Instead of dealing with a vehicle pursuit after it begins, departments using the Tick Tracker can deter a driver from fleeing a scene altogether.
“It’s a preventative measure that no one is doing today, so it’s something that’s very unique in this space,” said McGuire.
Using patent-pending technology, the Tick Tracker is a low-cost GPS device that’s designed to be deployed multiple times. It can be magnetically attached to a vehicle during a traffic stop and it’s easily removable with no damage to the vehicle. It provides near real-time location tracking and encourages officers to apprehend their suspect using strategy instead of high speed.
WORKING IN REAL-TIME
Departments partnering with SpartanTek have more than the Tick Tracker at their disposal, as each of the company’s devices is linked together through McGuire’s Phalanx-AI software.
The software can be used to track a Tick device or to monitor a K9’s location in the field. Officers can download the SpartanTek app on any smartphone and secure the phone in a dog’s harness or vest. GPS tracking helps avoid suspect or bystander injury and reduces the chance of any associated litigation. In the future, SpartanTek will be introducing a collar-mounted device as another option to use the K9 tracking feature.
Personnel and vehicle telematics are also a large part of SpartanTek’s platform with tools that aim to save time and increase officer safety. Fleet management through the Phalanx-AI software allows departments to track police vehicles and monitor their gas consumption, view check engine light notifications, determine typical speeds and more. A built-in ticketing system helps streamline repairs and keeps fleet managers organized.
Similarly, SpartanTek’s mobile app provides real-time officer tracking for increased situational awareness and safety. Whether it’s the coordination of a foot pursuit, sharing an accident location for other first responders or responding to calls for backup, officers will never second-guess if they’re in the right location.
Rather than relying on multiple mapping tools or investing in vendor-locked GPS devices, departments can use the Phalanx-AI software to manage everything in one place. The SpartanTek app can be installed on a personal or department-issued smartphone and cuts down costs by streamlining agency technology into a single vendor.
LOOKING TOWARD THE FUTURE
McGuire believes technology can help with transparency, safety and prevent liability for both responders as well as the community, helping to rebuild trust and community relationships. Technology is the path forward to allow responders to stay safe and increase their effectiveness while making the community safer than it is today, he says.
Solutions like those offered by SpartanTek are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to improving policing, and McGuire has his sights set high on future developments.
“The vision is to be able to take data and provide real-time analysis, such as crime mapping to predictively identify better patrol routes for proactive policing,” he said. “If we can identify high-risk areas or an area where there’s typically more violence toward first responders, we want to know about that.”
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