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Friday, May 11, 2012

Some Police Cars Have "Radioactive" Detectors -- Who Knew?

A report from Connecticut (H/t Instapundit):
Mike Apatow was minding his own business Wednesday, driving to an appointment for work in Washington Depot when a state police car appeared suddenly and signaled for the Milford resident to pull over.

Apatow, 42, was entering Interstate 84 in Newtown when the cruiser appeared, and he had no idea what he'd done to merit police attention. It turns out he didn't do anything.

But earlier that day, Apatow, who'd experienced a recent spike in his blood pressure, had a nuclear stress test at Cardiology Associates of Fairfield County in Trumbull. In the test, a small amount of a radioactive material is injected into the veins and used to help track blood flow to the heart.

Though the amount of radioactive material used in the test is relatively low -- equal to a few X-rays or a diagnostic CT scan -- it was enough to set off a radioactivity detector in the state police car. The detectors are used to help identify potential terror threats.

"I asked the officer `What seems to be the problem?' " Apatow said. "He said `You've been flagged as a radioactive car.' " 
* * *

State Police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance confirmed that many of the state police cars have the radioactivity detectors. "It's part of our homeland security operations here," Vance said. "It's just another layer of public safety that we have in this state."

Though the goal of the detectors is to alert police to motorists who might be carrying hazardous materials, cases like Apatow's happen from time to time.

"They're very sensitive," Vance said of the detectors.
Something tells me that this is just another example of throwing too much money at a non-existent problem.

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