Thursday, August 19, 2004

Protesting? Bring Your Earplugs!

A breaking story from the Associated Press (Police Turn Up Volume) reveals that the NYPD plan to use Long Range Acoustic Devices as a crowd control measure during the protests at the upcoming GOP invasion of New York City. The Long Range Acoustic Device, developed for the military by American Technology Corp. of San Diego; and designed to blast auditory barrages at up to an "ear-splitting" 150 decibels.

"The military bills them as a "non-lethal weapon" designed to disperse hostile crowds or ward off potential foreign combatants by delivering prerecorded warnings in several languages and, if needed, a blast of earsplitting feedback. But police insist the latter feature won't be used at the convention."

"The department recently bought two of the 45-pound acoustic sound machines for $35,000 apiece, and plans to mount them on Humvees posted outside Madison Square Garden. It would mark the first time the instrument — which can beam sounds for 300 yards or more — has been used by a civilian force."

A quick search at Wikipedia (LRAD) turned up this nugget: "Carl Gruenler, vice president of military and government operations for American Technology Corp., says that being within 100 yards (meters) of the device is extremely painful, but its use should be limited to 300 yards to be effectively used. He concedes that the device is powerful enough to cause permanent auditory damage, but that it is only meant to be used for a few seconds at a time."

Sounds like it may be more damaging than listening to Dubya mispronounce Abu Ghraib.


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