International Association of Chiefs of Police annual meeting, which ends today in San Diego, drew 17,000 visitors from around the world, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune; about 14,500 attended last year in New Orleans. There are about 750 exhibitors selling guns, cars, uniforms, badges, boots, in-car computers, and a few things police could probably live without.
San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne said the real value between the workshops, the shopping, the dining, and the drinking comes from chiefs talking to chiefs. “You get an idea of what works and what doesn’t,” he said. “They’ll tell you, ‘If you’re going to spend the money, here’s what to buy.’ ” A huge armored tank with roof hatches, gun-mount platforms and room for at least two dozen officers made Landsdowne swoon. He was less impressed with in-car video cameras. He said the high-tech cameras aren’t worth the money – about $5,000 per vehicle – because they’re going to be replaced in a few years by audio and video units – about $12,000 apiece – attached to an officer’s uniform. “Officers will be wired,” Lansdowne said. “Everything they do and say will be recorded.”