Muestran nuevas tecnologías de vigilancia

Some of the latest weapons in the war on terrorism were unveiled Wednesday at a Duluth company.
Isonics Homeland Security & Defense Corp. demonstrated a pair of «sniffer» devices — one hand-held, one meant for mounting in train and subway cars, buses and the like — that can detect in the air minuscule amounts of chemical toxins and both homemade or weapons-grade explosives.
The programmable devices recognize up to 60 substances such as sarin nerve gas or mustard gas, even at low levels, said Dennis Koehler, Isonics’ vice president of sales and marketing.
«We’re not stopping here,» he said. «We’re working on advanced capabilities and designs.»
Representatives of several public safety agencies in the metro area viewed the devices Wednesday at PartnerTech, a Duluth firm that will assemble the devices for Columbia, Md.-based Isonics.
PartnerTech is part of a company, founded as a copper mine, that assembles complicated devices.
Another Isonics partner, Colorado-based DualDraw, demonstrated large chemical- and explosive-detecting workstations meant for inspection points or mailrooms that can raise an alert to the presence of toxins such as anthrax within 15 seconds.
Gwinnett county law enforcement officials on hand Wednesday didn’t commit to a purchase but said the equipment would be useful.
«I was impressed with all these devices,» said Lt. Nick Neal, who heads the Gwinnett Sheriff Department’s Family Violence Unit and helps the department assess possible purchases.
«They’d be excellent at checkpoints.»
The devices also were of particular interest to Gwinnett Sheriff’s Maj. W.H. Shepherd, the Court Security Division commander.
«This is the next phase in security screening,» Shepherd said. «It’s certainly — and unfortunately — the future. There’s a market worldwide; there’ll be a bigger market down the road. It’s a sign of the times.»
The sniffers don’t come cheap.
Company representatives said the hand-held and portable devices cost from $18,000 to $35,000 per unit depending on features and order size.
The DualDraw workstations run $33,500 for the table-size model and $34,700 for the vertical mailroom unit.

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