Tuesday, April 01, 2008

A new invention with a local origin

Today's Valley News Dispatch has an interesting article about a creative new product from a company in New Kensington. A press release last week announced Monday's prototype launch. Prototypes are going to be tested by the Westmoreland County Sheriff's Department and the Arnold Police Department.

The Balla Base is intended to keep police officers and suspects safe while the police officer performs a search. The Balla Base is mounted to the trunk of a police car. It includes a bar to which a suspect can be handcuffed, a light source, and locked trays for holding weapons or evidence found during the search.

I like the idea of keeping the police safe during situations can change rapidly. It seems to me that this invention is a good start, but it creates new dangers for the person being detained and searched.

Once a person is handcuffed to the device, what (beyond proper training and procedures) is to stop the officer—or anyone else—from operating the patrol car? The Balla Base does not seem to have any safety features that would prevent the patrol car from running while the device is being used.

Most lawnmowers today have 'dead man' switches. Even the guns that police officers carry have safety switches. Shouldn't the Balla Base be connected to some form of ignition interlock for the safety of the person being searched?

File under : , , , ,

No comments: