WPSTC - Weapons & Protective Systems


Pursuit Management Technology

Chase StopperThe leading cause of death among Americans younger than 34 years of age is motor vehicle accidents.  The leading cause of death among law enforcement officers is also motor vehicle accidents.  Operating a motor vehicle is inherently dangerous; engaging in a motor vehicle pursuit aggressively pushes the envelope even further.  Because of the level of skill and focus required of law enforcement officers engaged in pursuit driving, technology must compliment and not complicate a pursuit.  The Pursuit Management Technologies focus area and technical working group is committed to the idea that effective tactics should drive the development of new technology.

The objectives of the Pursuit Management Technology (PMT) focus area is to:

  • Characterize the scenarios facing law enforcement officers immediately prior to and during a pursuit,
  • Delineate event probabilities during pursuits and evaluate current tactics techniques and procedures (TTPs),
  • Evaluate operational needs and technology requirements, and
  • Assist in technology development through testing and evaluation.

The WPSTC has partnered with the Penn State University College of Engineering and the Larson Transportation Institute to conduct PMT research. 

The following projects are currently underway or planned:

  • Statistical analysis of pursuit data – LTI researchers are conducting analysis of rural, urban and interstate pursuits by conducting analysis of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and California State pursuit databases.  This data is critical in characterizing scenarios, operational needs and technology requirements.
  • Evaluation of the PIT Maneuver vs. vehicles with driver assist technology – There has been some anecdotal evidence that modern vehicles that utilize driver assist or skid control technology may require a modification to the PIT Maneuver TTPs.  WPSTC and LTI researchers will instrument vehicles with data collection devices and quantify the interaction between vehicles involved in PIT Maneuver tactics executed by law enforcement officers in a laboratory setting.
  • Evaluation of “Stop Stick” and “Spike Strip” technology – The number of officers injured or killed each year during the deployment of “stop sticks” is alarming.  WPSTC and LTI researchers will conduct a side by side evaluation of all COTs devices and provide recommendations to both industry and the law enforcement community to improve the functionality of devices and TTPs currently in use.
  • Exploiting vehicle systems for pursuit management – Currently, OnStar® by GM offers a service to subscribers and law enforcement called Stolen Vehicle Slowdown.  If a customer has not opted out of the service, law enforcement can contact OnStar and the vehicle’s systems are influenced into slowing, thus bringing the vehicle to a controlled stop.  This concept has created a number of other future TTPs for law enforcement to consider in exploiting vehicle systems.

Field Search

It is critical to monitor the computer use of sex offenders under correctional supervision. This is true for three main reasons. First, analyzing an offender’s computer use provides valuable information about that offender’s sexual interests.  Second, monitoring is the only way to ensure that the offender is in compliance with conditions of supervision that prohibit the viewing of pornography. Third, monitoring can uncover evidence of a new crime such as possession of child pornography. Field Search software was developed to be used in the field by non-technical probation and parole officers to quickly and efficiently search an offender’s computer and create a detailed report of their findings.

For more information on the Field Search software please visit:

Innovative Technologies for Community Corrections Conference

In the past, the technology available to community corrections agencies has been relatively scarce. In recent years, however, there has been tremendous growth in this area. So much so that it has become difficult to keep track of all the new technology being developed. With this in mind, this annual event was created to spotlight some of the more important technology developments and applications for community corrections.This conference offers practitioners with the unique opportunity to hear from other agencies about their experiences and lessons learned in applying technology. In addition, attendees are introduced to new technologies in development so that they may be aware of these advancements and have a role in their direction.

 For more information on the Innovative Technologies for Community Corrections Conference please visit: http://www.nlectc.org/training/commcorr.html

Explosives Detection & Remediation

IED DamageWithout a doubt, bomb squads and other public safety professionals who deal with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) are in a dangerous business.  Bomb technicians are called upon to respond to incidents ranging from pipe bombs to Vehicle-Borne IEDs (VBIED).  Bomb Squads must perform, under a wide variety of environments, conditions and locations, a rapid risk assessment during the first few minutes on the nature of the hazard and then respond to defeat the device as quickly as possible.On a national basis, the Improvised Explosive Devices Defeat program attempts to identify technology requirements and then test, evaluate and demonstrate new technologies to meet both the immediate and the future U.S. bomb squads’ demands.  By providing specialized technology assistance programs and support in adoption of new technologies, this program advances bomb squad tactics, techniques, procedures, training and equipment features while also improving safety aspects to both the public and public safety personnel. A focal point for this program is the National Bomb Squad Commanders Advisory Board (NBSCAB), which also serves as NIJ’s Explosive Technical Working Group, which is made up of bomb squad commanders elected to serve as official representatives for bomb technicians, and is responsible for setting guidelines and standards and to help develop technology requirements for their profession.

The goal of the National Institute of Justice's (NIJ's) Improvised Explosive Device Defeat program is to provide U.S. bomb squads with advanced technologies, tools, and information to increase operational capabilities to defeat all designs and configurations of improvised explosive devices.  NIJ works closely with Technical Support Working Group (TSWG), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and other federal agencies to align federal resources that support bomb squads and find program synergies by partnering across the various agencies.

School Safety Technologies - WPSTC Resources (Videos & PDFs)


(Videos will take a minute or two to download)

“It Can Happen Here” is a documentary video designed to inform and compel audiences of school safety stakeholders to prepare for man-made and natural emergencies.  “It Can Happen Here” makes use of unprecedented access to those first responders, administrators, teachers, students and parents involved in some of the most horrific acts of school violence in U.S. history including the Columbine, Platte Canyon and Amish school house shootings.  The lessons learned from these incidents are a primary focus of this video.

“It Can Happen Here” also provides the viewers with the resources needed to develop a new school safety plan and to assess and improve upon an existing plan, primary through relationship building and technology.

Related Links

Chase ScenePersuit Management