skip navigation


Abstract Database

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

To download this abstract, check the box next to the NCJ number then click the "Back To Search Results" link. Then, click the "Download" button on the Search Results page. Also see the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 207820 Find in a Library
Title: Thermal Imaging Speeds Arrests
Journal: Law and Order  Volume:52  Issue:9  Dated:September 2004  Pages:86-88
Author(s): Stan Kummer
Date Published: September 2004
Page Count: 3
Type: Report (Technical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article assesses the cost-benefit of using a thermal-imaging camera in night searches and night patrol, featuring the example of the camera's use by the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department (Texas).
Abstract: The thermal-imaging camera converts heat-generating objects and organisms into a screen display of glowing white against the background of cooler masses in the scene framed by the camera. When suspects are believed by officers to be hiding in woods or other areas at night or under light-restricted conditions, the thermal-imaging camera can speed the search, reduce the number of officers required to conduct it, and increase the likelihood that the suspect will be found. In addition to being used in searching areas where suspects are believed to be hiding, the camera can also be used in routine nightly patrol. The officer trained to use the camera in the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office reports that he uses it nightly in his rounds of apartment complexes and other areas where criminal activity is prevalent in the county. He uses the camera to scan cars in parking lots and dark spaces between buildings and in alleys. The hand-held camera requires leaving the vehicle, but vehicle-mounted thermal-imaging cameras can scan areas from the safety of the patrol car, thus providing greater protection for an officer. This enables officers to conduct surveillance at night without taking the time and the risk of leaving the vehicle to conduct security checks. This article presents estimates of cost savings under various scenarios in which the thermal-imaging camera, which costs approximately $10,000, can prove cost-effective over time.
Main Term(s): Police equipment
Index Term(s): Motor patrol; Night vision devices; Patrol; Thermal imaging
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.