Every human activity has an impact on the environment. In 2019, the earth’s surface temperature was around 0.95 degrees Celsius warmer than the 20th-century average. And, in the last few years, global temperatures have been consistently among the hottest on record. The heat is melting glaciers and sea ice, shifting precipitation patterns, and setting animals on the move.
Reducing the carbon footprint is therefore becoming a priority for an increasing number of police departments around the globe. Recently, agencies have been adopting innovative strategies and environmentally friendly technology to lower their CO2 emissions and increase the use of clean energies. In this article, we look at some examples.
Chamblee Police Department´s solar-powered cameras
According to the FBI, 54.5% of violent crimes went ´uncleared´ in the US in 2018, as well as 37.7% of murder offenses and 82.4% or property crimes. It’s certainly not because the police aren’t doing their job; it’s often due to a lack of good evidence, such as evidence from license plate readers.
Chamblee Police Department is the latest agency to take action and is now using solar-powered tag cameras with Automatic License Plate Recognition (ALPR) capabilities.
“Your Chamblee Police Department is always exploring ways to keep Chamblee safe and on the cutting edge of environmentally friendly technology. To this end, we have been using a solar-powered tag reading camera that allows us to receive real-time alerts from vehicles associated with wanted individuals. The solar LPRs (have) assisted us with several arrests,” posted the department on Facebook.
The device was developed by Flock Safety and it detects vehicle make, model, type, color, license plate, state, temp & missing plates. It uses solar energy for power and captures up to 20,000 cars per day
Berlin Police bets on hydrogen boost patrols
Hydrogen might well be the wonder fuel of the future: Recently, the German government has committed to supporting hydrogen-powered mobility solutions and Berlin Police is taking the first step.
Two brand new Toyota Mirai police cars have gone into service this past January and are now patrolling the streets of Berlin with their 113 kW (152 hp) fuel cell electric powertrains. The vehicles have an estimated range of over 500 kilometers (310.7 miles) between fuel stops and, with five hydrogen fuel stations around the German capital, officers shouldn’t have problems throughout their shifts.
The major advantage of these Mirai compared to the battery-only version is that a fuel stop takes 3-5 minutes. It’s only a little slower than pumping gas. In theory, the Mirai is also carbon-neutral, since it only emits water vapor while driving; but Toyota estimates its carbon footprint to be 121 grams of CO₂ per kilometer, which is still very low.
State of Jersey Police´s Corporate Social Responsibility
Electric cars are nothing new to the State of Jersey Police. The department has even shared a photo on social media of “the legendary Inspector Tim Barnes modeling an electrically powered Toyota Rav 4 which was in service around twenty years ago.” You can view the photo here.
This year, three electric cars have been added to the fleet to reduce the force’s emissions and costs. The BMW i3 Rexs, which can go from 0 to 60mph in under eight seconds, was found to be far more efficient than their existing vehicles.
Deputy police chief James Wileman said that he was confident that the vehicles would work well in Jersey.
“Our focus is on keeping Jersey safe and these vehicles allow us to do that in a more cost-efficient and environmentally friendly way…The 2018-2019 Policing Plan sets out a clear intention to focus on greater corporate social responsibility in the way we run the police, and initiatives such as this help us do just that,” he stated.
Recently, Jersey Electricity announced the installation of new electric vehicle chargers at the force´s headquarters. “We are very grateful to Jersey Electricity for its help and support, which has included supplying us with the most up-to-date equipment, enabling faster charging than has previously been possible,” said Chief Wileman.