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Commercialization: Pushing the Idea

NCJ Number
Date Published
4 pages
This article describes four cases in which individuals conceived and developed technologies they believed would benefit law enforcement and corrections officers, but in each case they required technical assistance in bringing their product into an effective marketing scheme for volume sales.
In one case, an orthopedic surgeon developed puncture-resistant gloves that can improve officer safety when dealing with persons who may have communicable diseases. Although clearly a useful product for law enforcement and corrections officers, it was not widely known or received until the Office of Law Enforcement Technology Commercialization (OLETC) acted as a liaison in introducing the gloves to the Hatch Corporation, which has sold protective gear for more than 10 years. In the second case, a manufacturer of hearing equipment developed the Radioear tactical headset which uses a technology that enables users to communicate in the presence of high noise levels. OLETC and the Fire Fighting Task Force (FFTF) are helping to commercialize this technology with public safety agencies, although it was originally developed for the U.S. Navy SEALs. In the third case, a mechanical engineer who holds international patents designed a new type of doorframe that can prevent inmates from barricading doors and jamming the locks. With companion security devices, officers can gain access through such obstructed doors within 15 seconds. OLETC provided information and research assistance as well as market research and direct contacts that produced a manufacturing license agreement. The fourth case involved the conception and design of a device to provide customized lower back support in the seats of police patrol cars. OLETC was instrumental in the designer's signing of a nationwide distribution agreement with the Enforcement Technology Group, which will market the device under the name Alleviator.

Date Published: January 1, 2003