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Summerville police cars have new tool to prevent ambushes on officers

The anti-ambush device is in the department's new cruisers. (Source: Live 5 News) The anti-ambush device is in the department's new cruisers. (Source: Live 5 News)
"This is just another safety mechanism the officers can use, a tool to help them not become one of these statistics," Santanna said. (Source: Live 5 News) "This is just another safety mechanism the officers can use, a tool to help them not become one of these statistics," Santanna said. (Source: Live 5 News)
SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) -

The Summerville Police Department has a high tech tool installed in its new cruisers to prevent ambushes on its officers.

The anti-ambush device is in the department's new cruisers.

Officers have been told to activate it when they are parked in a place like a park, and doing paperwork.

A New York City police officer was doing paperwork inside a mobile command center early Wednesday morning when a gunman ambushed and killed her.

Summerville police are being proactive to protect their officers.

"It's a direct response to attacks on law enforcement," Summerville Police Lt. Nick Santanna said.

The cars have sensors on the rear bumpers to detect if anyone is coming towards the officer.

After the officer parks, he puts his backup camera on.  He can see if someone is approaching the car. 

The windows automatically go up. The doors automatically lock and a loud alarm goes off inside the car.

This all happens in just a few seconds, giving the officer some time to decide his next move.

"Whether it's to simply put your vehicle in drive and get to a better position, to exit your vehicle, to get to a better advantage point from inside the vehicle. so it gives you options," Santanna said. "Two to three seconds could be the difference between going home at the end of your shift or not."

So far, the department has not had to use the anti-ambush technology in a real life emergency, but they are glad they have it at their fingertips just in case.

"This is just another safety mechanism the officers can use, a tool to help them not become one of these statistics," Santanna said.

The anti-ambush technology has been installed in 11 new Summerville police cruisers.

The National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund says last year 21 officers were killed in ambushes, the highest number of deaths in over 20 years.

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