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Loose lips Sink Ships

Old 12-15-2010, 03:12 PM
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Patrolling the vast reaches of the Chesapeake Bay and its major tributaries has always been a difficult task for law enforcement officers. But a new $2.4 million radar-and-camera network is giving them a clear view of boat traffic from the port of Baltimore into the Potomac River.

The Maritime Law Enforcement Information Network allows Natural Resources Police dispatchers in Annapolis to track and intercept suspicious vessels and speed assistance to boaters in distress.

Dispatchers can draw an electronic "picket line" around a sensitive area such as the liquefied natural gas terminal in Calvert County, a cruise ship approaching the Inner Harbor or an oyster sanctuary near Tilghman Island. A vessel entering the area will trip an alarm and automatically activate cameras.


The radar can detect a 3-foot-square object seven miles away. The cameras have a range of three to five miles.

Tapping into another system, called Blue Force Tracker, a dispatcher can determine which law enforcement vessel — local, state or federal — is closest to the targeted boat and alert it.

"We'll have immediate eyes on the water and be able to monitor a situation as we send boats out," said Col. George Johnson, superintendent of the Natural Resources Police. "We will be able to tell officers what to expect as they approach and adjust our response as things unfold."

Phase one of NRP's system consists of one camera and four radar units. But agreements with state and federal agencies and private corporations up and down the bay extend MLEIN's vision while avoiding duplication of equipment. Patuxent Naval Air Station and a naval research lab near Chesapeake Beach will be sharing radar images to cover the water south of Anne Arundel County. Pictures from cameras in Baltimore, Annapolis and Prince George's County also will feed into the system.

In return, those jurisdictions will be able to tap into MLEIN in an emergency.

"It gives us the ability to share information with decision-makers in real time," said Tim Bowman, the MLEIN project manager. "All they'll need is an Internet connection."

At a demonstration of MLEIN, a technician marked an intermittent blip on the radar screen and directed a camera near the Bay Bridge to zero in on the subject. Guiding the camera with his finger on a mouse pad, the technician zoomed in to show a waterman hauling oysters into his small boat. The name of the boat could be read.

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Last edited by gullfinder; 12-15-2010 at 03:16 PM. Reason: wanted to--TIME CHECK
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Old 12-16-2010, 06:35 AM
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Big brother is watching. If you like to spend time with your significant other au naturale you better get a boat with a cabin, or you might find yourself on youtube..
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Old 12-16-2010, 07:30 AM
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I'm sure the powers at be won't use this system for anything other than safety. Yeah right. Those guys will have the camera zoomed in to every local party spot in the area. They might as well call the system the boob tube.
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Old 12-16-2010, 07:42 AM
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Did you get banned from TF?
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Old 12-16-2010, 07:53 AM
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Cool! Kojac's got a new kodak!
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Old 12-16-2010, 07:56 AM
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Waterside security big deal. Expensive toys that are deployed at many ports around the world. This is nothing new
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Old 12-16-2010, 07:57 AM
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Col. George Johnson, superintendent of the Natural Resources Police.


That is just scary
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Old 12-16-2010, 08:19 AM
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I have edited the original post to remove innappropraiet references to another forum.
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Old 12-16-2010, 06:58 PM
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They can watch me reel in those gigantic cow-nosed rays. I'll also probably get a ticket for peeing overboard.
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Old 12-17-2010, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by THT Mod 2 View Post
I have edited the original post to remove innappropraiet references to another forum.
__Thanks ,I was Just Testing Moderator --geo --
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Old 12-17-2010, 06:56 PM
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Just another reason to stay south of Smith Point!!
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Old 12-18-2010, 05:10 AM
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Originally Posted by t3rockhall View Post
I'll also probably get a ticket for peeing overboard.
The cameras are good enough to read a boat name, how in the heck do expect them to see something that SMALL!
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