All posts by tuffy

Law enforcement officers find help with intelligence-led policing

Cities are constantly looking for ways to reduce crime rates, and lately that means turning to big data to help pinpoint problem areas.

The Columbus Police Department in South Carolina is using a wide array of data – police reports, street information, observation by officers and witness statements – to determine where crime  is most likely to occur, helping them allocate funds and distribute their police force resources, according to the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.

“If you know that a particular area is experiencing a certain type of criminal activity during a certain time of the day, then you can start narrowing down that crime type,” Columbus Police Sgt. Roderick Graham told the news source. “You’re filtering down, pinpointing.”

The new strategy is known as “intelligence-led policing,” and it has already begun helping reduce the crime rate in the area.

“Research shows that if you can respond to an area, to a call, within three minutes, the possibility of apprehension is greatly increased,” he said. “Individuals that were involved in crime in that community, they know that we have a set of officers that are not constantly tied up in calls and are free to respond to those areas.”

Essentially, the new methodology streamlines communication between officers. Where old methods would use things like paper documents to update officers, a new record management system digitizes that information, updating it immediately for officers.

Chief Ricky Boren told the news source that if a car is stolen on the north side of the city, dispatch will be able to send pictures and more exact information to help officers on the south side be more aware of the situation.

Other helpful tools for officers
Aside from the improved methods that come along with intelligence-led policing, officers find help both inside and outside the field with secure storage solutions.

Whether it’s a security box for tactical gear or a small lockbox for a gun, products are available to ensure equipment is safe and sound, and stays out of the wrong hands.

Unfortunately, police gear getting stolen is an all-to-common occurrence. In February, two men, Jesse Crawford and Craig Butcher, purchased a storage unit at Marina U-Store in California, only to discover that they had just bought thousands of dollars in stolen police equipment, according to the Monterey Herald. Upon finding out the nature of the contents in the storage locker, Crawford and Butcher called the police. Marina police officers arrived on scene to take back the gear, which included:

  • Sirens
  • Police reports and photographs
  • Radio equipment
  • Mace
  • Expandable batons
  • Handcuffs
  • Urine-test kits
  • A Code-3 police light
  • Retro detective lights

“Chalk it up as a loss, I guess,” Crawford told the news source. “But it’s better to get the stuff back where it belongs than to have something we’re not supposed to have. We might still have enough left (from the locker) to break even, or even make a little bit, which, for us, is the name of the game.”

Whether it’s on or off the job, police officers looking to better secure their gear are encouraged to purchase high-quality products that will keep their items safe and sound, like lockboxes and storage safes. These products keep gear secure but accessible.

Jeep to reveal six off-road concepts in Moab

This upcoming weekend marks the 48th Annual Moab Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah, an event where Jeep lovers get together for an off-road gathering. Like years past, Jeep will be bringing along a few concept vehicles.

“We head to Moab and the Easter Jeep Safari with six new vehicles we know Jeep enthusiasts will truly appreciate – including our first two new Jeep Cherokee models built specifically for this important event,” said Mike Manley, President and CEO – Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “We look forward to putting these new Jeep vehicles in their proper environment and receiving important feedback from our most loyal customers at their favorite annual off-road gathering.”

This year’s concept vehicles will feature a number of Jeep Performance Parts – specifically designed for off-roading – to help transform current Jeep models into the ultimate trail performers.

“This year, we’re showcasing a combination of Mopar and Jeep Performance Parts on our vehicles for off-road enthusiasts to see a variety of customization and personalization options,” said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO – Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand. “Since 2002, Jeep and Mopar have teamed to create more than 40 unique concept vehicles for enthusiasts who attend the popular Easter Jeep Safari.”

Here’s a list of some of the concept cars:

  • The Wrangler Level Red: One of the concepts Jeep will be showing off this year is the Wrangler Level Red. The phrase “level red” is derived from the terminology for the toughest off-road trail. The Jeep has a wide array of features that make it great in the dirt, including Jeep Performance Parts Dana 44 crate axles in the front and rear and Rock-Trac transfer case, which helps owners better navigate obstacles.
  • Wrangler MOJO: This vehicle is similar to the Level Red, but is designed to take on the most extreme trails.  The”OJ” in its name stands for “orange Jeep” and includes a number of Jeep Performance Parts including “shorty” bumpers and prototype flat-top fenders.
  • Wrangle Maximum Performance: This Jeep features the word “maximum” for the power it offers. The vehicle is raised up four inches and features a 70:1 crawl ratio.
  • Cherokee Adventurer: The fourth and final concept car being shown off at this event is perfect for those looking for an off-road capable vehicle with more storage. Whether it’s the bungee net available to hold cargo down or the added utility and cargo, this is perfect for adventurers.

Jeep hosting New York Auto Show preview
In addition to the Easter Jeep Safari, Jeep will be hosting a private preview of the vehicles it will be showing off at the 2014 New York International Auto Show. According to the release, the event will benefit East Side House Settlement, a social social services agency that serves children and families in the South Bronx and surrounding communities.

“This milestone year commemorates our 15-year partnership with East Side House,” said Mark Schienberg, president of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association. “On behalf of the automobile retailers of greater New York, we wholeheartedly support the staff at East Side House and the important help they give to young people to attain their goals. We also salute the past and present sponsors whose support over the past 15 years has helped raise over $4.5 million for East Side House.”

Get a current Jeep model off-road ready
While the two upcoming Jeep events will show off concepts and future models, owners are likely wondering how they can get their current Jeep off-road ready.

Jeep parts and accessories can be found online that help owners with storage, especially when it comes to taking a trips outdoors. Securing belongings on an off-road adventure has never been easier with current products on the market.

Officer Bruce Baker knows the importance of security equipment

Police officers keep our streets safe. They serve and protect to ensure we can enjoy our day-to-day lives in peace. However, when it comes to keeping their gear protected, officers turn to high-quality security equipment.

Bruce Baker currently works in the Marin County Sheriff’s Office in California and has been in law enforcement for nearly 25 years. From working in a jail as a deputy to investigating homicides at the sheriff’s department, Baker has seen a lot in his time as a police officer. As a result, he knows how important security is for someone in his line of work.

When asked what the most important thing is when it comes to choosing security equipment, Baker didn’t hesitate to reply.

“Something that’s going to keep everybody safe,” Baker said. “I mean, that’s our No. 1 thing in law enforcement is to keep everybody safe, to make sure they go home every night to their families.”

Baker’s experience as a police officer has taught him the importance of security equipment and making sure it is right for a cop. While he cited that price and budgeting will always be an issue, nothing trumps safety when it comes picking equipment. Most police departments will always be under budget constraints. Therefore, they will have to choose quality gear that will both last and keep officers safe. Whether a department is getting money through grants or community donations, choosing a lockbox or police tactical gear that won’t fall apart is crucial when trying to make funds go as far as possible.

Lockboxes perfect for on and off the job
One ideal product for keeping guns safe at home or at a police department is a lockbox. Whether a cop stores their guns in their patrol car or keeps some at home, locking them away is essential. While Baker’s current department had other means for storing their guns, he noted that many officers purchase lockboxes on their own.

“A lot of people personally have lockboxes at home to keep their guns safe when they’re at home, from their kids and everything,” Baker said.

Baker also noted that two AR-15 rifles were once stolen out of a police garage.

“They broke into a locked garage, broke into the truck and broke the mechanism it was locked in inside the truck,” Baker said. “And they stole it. We eventually got it back through good detective work.”

And while good detective work eventually led to the return of their guns, taking preventative measures to stop robberies before a crime is committed is ideal.

Keep guns secure with the right equipment
Even Baker, who said he wasn’t personally enthusiastic about guns, noted the importance of keeping them in a lockbox.

“It’s very important to lock them up,” Baker said. “I’m not a gun guy. I have a gun at home and it’s completely locked up in a box. I wouldn’t do it any other way.”

A lockbox ensures a gun stays out of the wrong hands. However, they will still keep the weapon accessible for the right person. The great thing about a lockbox is that it strikes the perfect balance between convenience and security. When it comes to quickly opening a lockbox, a push button combo lock is far faster than having to find and use a key. An officer can go from keeping their gun safely stored to having it loaded in their hand simply and swiftly.

Baker compared this balance between security and convenience to getting a gun out of a locked holster.

“In the old days when I started, the gun was just kind of hanging on your belt,” he said. “Anyone could just grab it off.”

However, he noted that these days holsters are locked, making it harder for a criminal to get their hands on the gun, but still convenient for an officer. The same can be said about a lockbox.

Improve vehicle storage and security during National Car Care Month

While April is typically a time where vehicle owners have their cars inspected at body shops, why not also improve a ride by adding some additional security and storage accessories?

It’s National Car Care Month, according to the Car Care Council, encouraging motorists to look assess the following aspects of their vehicles:

  • Brakes
  • Exhaust system
  • Fluids
  • Belts and hoses
  • HVAC system
  • Battery
  • Tires
  • Wipers
  • Lighting

The list goes on, but essentially, spring kicks off the driving season, so it’s important to make sure a vehicle is ready. But, ensuring all parts of a car are properly maintained is just one way to get it ready for warmer weather.

Accessories for security and storage
Vehicle owners should also look to add accessories to improve their vehicle as a part of National Car Care Month. Whether it’s to protect valuables inside a car, as break-ins typically increase with the improving weather conditions, or it’s to add more functional storage for an upcoming camping trip, accessories are available to help.

aHere a number of popular options that are great for someone at work or play:

  • Mini safe: Keep items out of a robber’s hands.
  • Roof cargo: Add some more storage space to the top of a vehicle.
  • Truck bed box: Get more functional storage space in a pickup.
  • Lockbox: Great for a cop who is off the job and looking for secure storage for their gun.

The list also goes on, as well. This spring, every driver should make it their goal to not only make sure their vehicle is well cared for – practicing preventative maintenance – but also ensuring it is as functional as possible. Accessories are a valuable tool in improving the performance of a car or truck – improving security and storage – and will make life easier on a jobsite, camping trip or anything in between.

Suspect breaks leg during attempted robbery, calls 911

When a man from Louisville, Ky., failed to break into a home, the trouble didn’t stop there.  He then fell off a ladder, broke his leg and called 911.

According to the Courier-Journal, Kenneth Dewhawn Splunge, 34, climbed a fence onto a roof and kicked out the skylight of a home. However, he dropped a ladder into the residence and upon his descent, fell through the skylight and broke his leg.

Splunge was later found by emergency personnel after calling the police for help. He was taken to a hospital and two days later was charged with second-degree burglary. Splunge is being held on a $2,500 cash bond.

Stay safer on- and off-duty
While every call can’t be as simple as the burglar giving himself up, police need to be ready for just about anything. Whether they are on- or off-duty, they likely need an efficient place to store their guns.

Various accessories are useful for securing police gear, including a portable safe or a lockable storage box. Whether an officer is storing guns, ammunition or other sensitive police items, it’s critical to keep them out of sight and out of the wrong hands. These storage devices are essential for every patrol car and police officer’s’ home. They can be installed in the trunk or back seat of a vehicle, ensuring a police officer has quick access while being able to rely on secure storage.

A portable safe is perfect for securing a firearm as it is made of welded steel. A three-digit combination lock ensures an officer is the only one who can quickly access the contents of the safe.

On the other hand, the lockable storage box provides even more room. If an officer needs to store guns along with tactical gear, this product is the ideal solution as it offers 4,000 cubic of lockable storage space.

Tips to avoid having items stolen from a vehicle

Having a car broken into can be a nightmare. Not only might personal belongings get stolen, but you could have to wait around to file a report, then have to deal with an insurance company.

A few preventative measures can help you avoid these situations altogether, and when it comes to your vehicle it's better to be safe than sorry.

Get an alarm system
While an alarm system might cost you some extra cash, it will be worth it in the end. Criminals will shy away from cars with alarms. One simple and effective way to avoid a theft is to have an alarm system present in a car.

Lockboxes will keep items safe 
While it's a good idea not to keep expensive items in your car, sometimes it's not an option. Whether it's a GPS system or even a gun, motorists should always keep a lockbox in their car. Thieves will be thoroughly disappointed if they break into a car and find that they can't even see what's in a lockbox, much less get their hands on it.

Watch where you park
Choosing a dimly lit corner of a parking garage could be a mistake. When parking, always try to pick an area with high traffic and plenty of lighting. This will deter thieves from even considering a break in.

Jeep Wrangler Sport named cheapest car to insure

A car is likely the second largest purchase someone will make in their lifetime behind a home. Therefore, it's important – not to mention required by law – to have insurance for a vehicle. 

Consumers often neglect to factor in just how much insurance will add to the yearly costs of owning a vehicle. They might purchase a fuel efficient ride to save money at the pump, but what about purchasing a car specifically because it's cheap to insure?

Forbes recently released a list of the 10 cheapest cars to insure in 2014. The Wrangler Sport came out on top of the list, while a number of other Jeeps were also featured in the top 10.

"The Wrangler is helped by the fact that it's not expensive to repair – if you get a dent in your door, you take the door off and get another one," Amy Danise, editorial director at, told the news source. "And while Jeeps certainly are marketed for 'adventurous' off-road driving, their appearance on our 'least expensive to insure' rankings demonstrate that they're really not used to drive up and down craggy rocks."

According to the data, the Jeep Wrangler Sport only costs $1,080 in annual insurance premiums on average. The Jeep Patriot Sport was named the third least expensive car to insure, with its annual cost only hitting $1,104, while the Compass Sport came in fifth ($1,140) and the Grand Cherokee Laredo took the 10th spot ($1,171).

Why the Wrangler's great in mud
While Jeeps are great for everyday driving, the Wrangler is also the quintessential off-roading vehicle. This vehicle has a number of features that come standard, which encourages drivers to take the roads less traveled.

Here are some of the reasons Wranglers do so well off-roading:

  • High-quality suspension ensures axles and tires handle rough terrain.
  • As stated above, repairs on these vehicles are easy, so if they get dinged up in the woods, it's no big deal.
  • The top and doors come off, improving vision and overall enjoyment while off-roading.

Another great aspect of a Jeep Wrangler is that they are highly customizable. Drivers often add a roll bar or skid plates to help protect themselves and the vehicle while off-roading. In addition, there are a number of unique solutions to improving Jeep storage that are ideal for drivers who head off-road often. Whether it's keeping their items secure while they are away from their car or while they're trudging through a river, accessories are available to help. 

High-tech camping gadgets

For some, camping is all about roughing it: living off the land, communing with nature and getting away from the hustle and bustle of every day life. However, building a fire by rubbing two sticks together or fishing for dinner is not everyone's idea of a good time. For those who like the idea of camping but would prefer a few luxuries, here are a few high-tech gadgets that will make your camping experience a little less rugged:

CamelBak All Clear Bottle
If you're going to be camping for a couple of nights, you usually need to bring a way to purify water. This can be a fairly time-consuming task through the use of iodine drops or boiling. However, CamelBak has released a water bottle with a UV cap that takes just 60 seconds to purify water.

Handpresso Wild Hybrid Espresso Maker
For some campers, morning coffee is not option. It's a necessity. Those who prefer espresso over filtered coffee will love this handheld espresso maker.

Camp Chef Outdoor Camp Oven Stove
When camping, most of your food is roasted over a campfire. If you're craving something a little more domestic, bring along this propane-powered stove-oven combination and enjoy freshly baked meals just like you would have at home.

Eureka Nergy 1310 Electric-Powered Tent
Sure, you've got the great outdoors at your feet when you're camping, but what if you're really itching to catch up on the last season of Parks and Recreation? This high-tech tent has a 12-volt harness system that lets you use all your favorite electronics while sleeping up to 10 people.

Brunton ADC Pro Weather Instrument
Few things are more important to a successful camping trip than good weather. This instrument will not just give you the current temperature, but a humidity rating, wind speed, heat index and a wind-chill alarm.

LifeProof Braven BRV-1 Waterproof Bluetooth Speakers
Whether you're at your campsite or the beach, music is almost always a welcome addition to any outdoor excursion. This particular set of speakers is wireless and waterproof, so you don't have to worry about the elements damaging the electronics.

Tuffy's Portable Safe
With all your new gadgets and gizmos, you'll want to be sure your belongings are safe if you step away from your campsite or leave them in your car during the trip. This mini safe is the perfect place to keep small electronics, important paperwork, cash or even your firearm.