i-PROTECT Launched by Beretta

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I suppose this is a little “big brother-y” but the tech is still kind of cool.  I can see the utility in certain professions–namely the one they discuss.  The other interesting feature (they discuss in the video) is for detecting maintenance issues.  It looks like they have a pretty complete integration with the Carabinieri (at least the area they are testing it out in; Milan Provincial Command).

The ‘i-PROTECT’ system includes the Beretta pistol and a networked holster using sensors that do not interfere with the mechanical operation of the handgun.  The Operations Center is automatically alerted when the pistol is drawn from its holster, when the hammer is cocked, and when the pistol is fired.  The Center can then send the appropriate back up and/or support personnel to the scene while the Officer continues to focus on the event at hand. At the Officer’s discretion, the pistol communicates with the “ODINO 5” smartphone application that integrates the handgun and other Officer sensors into the control system, including the Officer’s position.  The i-PROTECT is designed to allow the Officer to continue using the most critical element of the system, the handgun, even if every other element is not functioning or if all electrical power is lost.

 

So, let’s discuss it!  Do you think this would be a benefit to Law Enforcement (if you are LE, please weigh in)?  What are the broader implications of this?



Tom is a former Navy Corpsman that spent some time bumbling around the deserts of Iraq with a Marine Recon unit, kicking in tent flaps and harassing sheep. Prior to that he was a paramedic somewhere in DFW, also doing some Executive Protection work between shifts. Now that those exciting days are behind him, he has embraced his inner “Warrior Hippie” and assaults 14er in his sandals and beard, or engages in rucking adventure challenges while consuming craft beer. To fund these adventures, he writes medical software and builds websites and mobile apps. His latest venture is as one of the founders of IronSights.com; a search engine for all things gun related. He hopes that his posts will help you find solid gear that will survive whatever you can throw at it–he is known (in certain circles) for his curse…ahem, ability…to find the breaking point of anything.


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  • Charlie Taylor

    imagine practicing draws at home, you suddenly get a call: “Wtf is going on?!!?”

  • MadBiker Wolf

    I think it’s a pretty good idea. Other than the practice draws mentioned by Charlie Taylor, I don’t see an issue. LEO/Security can have an immediate call for backup without needing to worry about working his radio.

  • Nicks87

    I don’t see any problems with this being adopted by Law Enforcement but… I just hope it doesn’t open the door for some idiot politician to try to force it on the civilian world.

  • USMC03Vet

    I don’t think you’d need reporting if un-holstered that is a bit much, but if they integrate it into a radio without having to use a specific model handgun that would be neat.

    • AJ

      This. Every time someone goes code brown: “Send back up!”

  • Seems fine to me.

  • 2wheels

    Doesn’t sound like a terrible idea for LE. And it doesn’t interfere with the actual mechanical function of the firearm, which would be a deal breaker for a lot of people.

    • Kurt Akemann

      Quite Concur.

  • sam

    I like the idea of keeping a record of when LE draw. Make sure someone’s not just whipping it out to scratch their butt with.

  • Joey JoJo Jr.

    Round-counting for maintenance intervals is something that should have been integrated in mil/LE firearms a long, long time ago. Holster draw alarms? Big barrel of meh. A hardware solution to a leadership and training problem.

  • I have 18+ years in LE. European police often do not get to carry firearms home with them so this may have more merit there. In America most officers do carry their firearms home, and so that presents a slight problem in programming – you don’t want a whole series of alarms when officers are simply going off shift. Some officers take their whole duty gear home to practice draws, etc. Again, don’t need the bells and whistles for that either.
    The concept of being able to address a deadly force situation without worrying about broadcasting information over the radio is a great concept in theory. However, simply drawing their sidearm may not need to set off the alarm bells. In checking alarms or an open door, our policies (and most LE agencies) is to announce Police presence, and if no response is received, check the structure with firearms drawn. This happens fairly frequently, but is not viewed in the same threat context as say a high risk car stop. What about inspections, routine maintenance, etc.?
    Another drawback is that electronics fail. How does it hold up in heat, cold, rain, etc? I get that its in a case, but cops get exposed to the worst. How long is the battery power, is it rechargeable, how many recharges until replacement? Does the signal interfere with existing radios, MDT’s, or other electronic devices?
    Duty belt space is also another major concern. Doesn’t seem like much, but many officer’s belts are already full with other critical tools. Adding this may be more problematic than it seems at first. Though a neat concept I’d rather spend the money on other needed items.

    • Aaron, I beg to differ. I live in Europe (Italy). Basically ALL Police here bring their service pistols home, and all Police officers are authorized to carry their service handgun for protection when off duty.

      • I’m glad Italy has some sense! Thanks for clarifying. Do you know how your neighbors work things?

        • No idea what happens in a lot of other Countries, but off-duty carry of the service pistol happens to be also authorized in France. Whether or not the cops actually do it, it’s their choice. But they can, just like in Italy.

  • Pranqster

    Hopefully this will save coutless dogs from dying at the hands of Police.

  • About the i-PROTECT, you should keep in mind that:

    #1 — It has been conceived for law enforcement use only and most of its technical features make it NON-ADAPTABLE to civilian firearms use. So to speak: it requres a dedicated operations/comm room.

    #2 — The system is conceived only to gather technical data about service pistols, including data that can be used as a forensic evidence to proof whether or not the discharge of a firearm by a Police officer was lawful or justified.

    #3 — The system does not affect the operation of the gun at all: it can not stop the gun from working.

  • Captain Obvious

    Some idiot administrator will think this is a good idea and some politician will jump on it in an attempt to politicize police scrutiny. In reality it is another way for politicians or LE administrators to get kickbacks from useless technology.

  • LETrainer

    This is a great solution to several non-existent problems.

    The monitoring & collection of data MIGHT prove useful from a forensic standpoint post-Officer-Involved-Sfooting. It will undoubtedly be abused by desk-riding administrators and bureaucrats.

    Useful or not, it WILL NOT aid in a determination of whether or not the use of deadly force is/was authorized.

  • Archie Montgomery

    Being a retired lawman, I see this as useless. It probably appeals to upper management who feel they are omniscient, but it lends itself to the ‘next step’ of controlling the firearm from some central control.

    Perhaps as a mechanism attached or contained in the holster with NO modification to the sidearm.