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American COP Magazine October 2012 Digital Edition - Page 36

ColD CASe SolUTion: oceanSeRveR Rhonda MonIz for a variety of operations and missions, often allowing human divers to work more safely and accurately. The local police were called. They realized immediately they had something out of the ordinary, and the theories developed. The pond is the third largest naturally occurring body of water in Massachusetts, and is used year round for a variety of recreational purposes, including ice fishing and ice boating when the weather is consistently cold. Lieutenant Paul Bernier, who is in charge of the department’s underwater technology and port security operations, said his dive team had recently conducted a search of the car after being notified of its location. It was resting in about 20' of water, and team members removed the license plate during the dive. Bernier said the car was a 1986 Mazda 626, stolen on Jan. 25, 1987. He said they didn’t have weather reports for that particular day, but believed the ice near the shoreline of the South Watuppa was thick enough to support the vehicle and someone either drove or OceanServer’s Iver2 Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) helped police locate a cold-case stolen vehicle over a half mile from the nearest shoreline. aUv Technology t’s no surprise with the advances in underwater technology; police, fire and other agencies involved with homeland security are looking to more and more technology to keep our harbors and waterfronts safe. Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) equipped with side-scan and multi-beam sonar are being purchased regularly today by emergency responders. Police and fire departments are using the technology to locate firearms, human remains, unlawful materials and evidence. Homeland security agencies are routinely using Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) to gather video or sonar imagery, and in test cases are adding very sophisticated sensors such as radiological isotope identification hardware in an effort to detect nuclear threats. Large area survey work can be systematically accomplished with small, lightweight autonomous systems carrying sensors I Accidental Find Recently, a port security team from the Fall River, Massachusetts Police Department used AUV technology designed and manufactured by OceanServer Technology, also of Fall River, to solve a cold case. The AUV manufacturer was conducting a survey of a local pond using an Iver2 AUV equipped with a L3 Klein 3500 side-scan sonar. The objective was to develop survey methods while validating the sonar’s range and resolution capability. During a post-mission review of the high-resolution images, a car was clearly identified among the natural artifacts on the seafloor. The vehicle was resting on its roof over a half-mile from the nearest shoreline. How did it get there, how long had it been there, and did anyone know it was there? 36 WWW.AMERICANCOPMAGAZINE.COM • OCTOBER2012

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