Law enforcement agencies across the country are replacing clunky throw phones with a new tool from Bounce Imaging developed with input from the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team – the Explorer 2.0 tactical camera. Bounce Imaging’s patented throwable camera has two-way audio capability – allowing hostage negotiators and other officers on barricaded suspect or hostage situation call-outs, a direct line of communication, and increased 360° situational awareness for a fraction of the price of traditional hostage negotiation tools.
Traditionally, hostage negotiators have been restricted in their negotiations by communicating through audio-only devices that rely on a subject’s compliance in picking up the receiver.
As Marshall County Sheriff Phil Sims explained: “A throw phone is essentially a phone in a box attached to about 200 yards of cable. It is thrown into a room or space where the subject is holed up. We can initiate a call to them, or they can pick it up and call us.” Sims goes on to outline some of the significant issues with traditional throw phones: “But it takes time to set up. The suspect can just ignore it and not pick up the handset to talk.”
The two-way audio feature in the Bounce Imaging cameras eliminates the requirement for the suspect to pick up the phone by providing a direct line of communication. For that reason, the Marshall County Sheriff’s purchased Bounce Imaging cameras to replace their throw phone.
How does it work? Once the camera is in the vicinity of the subject, the HNT, or other officers with any Android or iOS device, can immediately begin communicating with the subject. The subject is not required to take any other action besides simply talking. We believe this instantaneous line of communication is an invaluable tool for de-escalating situations and reaching a peaceful conclusion. In addition, prerecorded commands in multiple languages are also built into the camera to help overcome language barriers. So, even when officers may not speak the same language as the subject they are communicating with, they can still get their message across faster than traditional throw phones.
To add, all of the video and audio that is picked up through the camera – is recorded and saved on the officer’s phone or tablet. This can be extremely helpful for evidentiary purposes, as well as training purposes after an event occurs.
Not only can Bounce Imaging Explorer replace clunky throw phones, but it also provides officers with a 360-degree view of the area around the camera – offering instant situational awareness. So, as negotiators are speaking with subjects, they can keep an eye on that subject’s movements, allowing them to note and address any threatening behavior by the subject, giving them more information on which tactics may increase chances of de-escalating the situation. Officers can also evaluate the state of any potential hostages, helping them determine the most effective strategy of rescue.
Interested in replacing your throw phone? Contact us today to set up a demo and learn more about how the Explorer 2.0 is an easier to set up, more affordable, and more effective replacement for the throw phones in your arsenal.