DHS S&T Tackles Driving Distraction Issue Affecting Patrol Operations

DHS S&T Tackles Driving Distraction Issue Affecting Patrol Operations
DHS Science and Technology

The Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology (DHS S&T) Directorate has launched an effort to address driving distractions that affect the safety of law enforcement personnel. 

The Advanced Decision Support for Public Safety—Preventable Law Enforcement Distracted Driving project will virtually gather patrol officers and supervisors from the U.S. and Canada to discuss the issue of driving distractions, DHS said Tuesday.

This effort will address an issue, which according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, has caused almost 40 percent of police deaths between 2005 and 2017. These distractions are often caused by the multitude of systems used in patrol operations.

“With over 35 years of driver training experience, I have grown concerned with the dangerous mix of new recruits with limited driving experience and the requirement to manage multiple police data sources, all with the expectation of safely controlling their patrol vehicle,” said Albert Liebno, executive director of the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commissions.

S&T's partners on the effort include Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and various stakeholders from government, industry and academia.

“Based on the information and input received in these early stages of the project, in coming months, first responders, technologists and innovators will all have opportunities to present low-cost, easily-implemented ideas and solutions for consideration and evaluation by law enforcement,” said Jim Grove, S&T's portfolio manager for efforts associated with the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers.

The effort's resulting data would inform policy recommendations and technology assessments.

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