Phoenix police pick up approval, $95K for long-range, crowd-control speakers

Nov 10, 2018, 4:22 AM
A mounted version of the LRAD 500X. (LRAD Photo)...
A mounted version of the LRAD 500X. (LRAD Photo)
(LRAD Photo)

PHOENIX – Police in Phoenix will be using long-range hailing devices they said will help them with crowd control and instruction during emergency situations.

The City Council approved a $95,000 expenditure for two LRAD-500X systems. The loudspeakers will not be used on crowds until officers are trained in their use, police said.

There will be guidelines and a written policy outlining when, how and by whom the instruments can be used.

The speakers will “provide an ability for us to give clear and concise messages to groups of people whenever we find it necessary to communicate with them,” Sgt. Mercedes Fortune told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Friday.

“It could be during a critical incident. Monsoons, sometimes, there’s an area that need to be evacuated. That’s what we’re looking to use as well with large crowds.”

Some in the community were concerned that the devices could be weaponized and said so at Tuesday’s council meeting.

“Absolutely not,” Fortune said.

The department already has a smaller version of the device, she said.

According to the LRAD website, the Army and Navy use the company’s system on “small vessels and vehicles,” and it is effective up to around 2,200 yards.

The U.S. Department of Health’s National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders said exposure to noises at or above 85 decibels can cause damage to ears, though not necessarily permanently. Sirens average 120 decibels.

An officer will have to verify he or she is at a safe distance from the crowd or individual before using the system, Fortune said, to ensure levels don’t cause long-term hearing loss.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ashley Flood and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Facebook photo/Fry's Food Stores)...

Fry’s Food Stores to open new Queen Creek location Wednesday

Fry’s Food Stores is opening its new Queen Creek location with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday morning.
9 hours ago
(AP Photo/Dar Yasin)...
Associated Press

Navajo Nation increases ability to do COVID testing, vaccinations

Health facilities on the Navajo Nation are increasing the ability to test for COVID-19 and vaccinate people as the omicron variant spreads, tribal leaders said.
9 hours ago
Georgia Lord (Facebook File Photo/City of Goodyear, AZ - USA)...

Memorial service for former Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord to be held on Friday

A celebration of life will be held Friday for former Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord, who died last month at the age of 83, the city announced.
9 hours ago
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)...

Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly, agriculture chief to speak on wildfire mitigation plan

Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are set to make an announcement Tuesday about the Western Wildfire Mitigation Strategy.
9 hours ago
(AP File Photo/Elaine Thompson)...

Arizona health department: ERs are for medical emergencies, not COVID-19 testing

The Arizona Department of Health Services said Friday that because emergency rooms are at the front line of the COVID-19 response, the community should remember the rooms are reserved for medical emergencies only and not for COVID-19 testing.
9 hours ago
(AP File Photo/Martin Meissner)...
Associated Press

Yuma hospital receives aid from Air Force team to care for COVID patients

A 15-member Air Force medical augmentation team is helping with staff shortages amid increasing numbers of COVID-19 patients at Yuma Regional Medical Center.
9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Arizona State University

This is the best year to get your MBA

Getting a master’s degree is a major commitment of time, energy, and money, so returning to school — even if you’re thinking about a part-time program that allows you to keep working — is one of the biggest decisions of your career.
GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 27: Wide receivers John Brown #12 and Larry Fitzgerald #11 of the Arizona C...
Arizona Department of Gaming

The most memorable games in Arizona sports history every fan needs to know

Sports teams in Arizona have seen their fair share of instant classic games, but there's a few that every fan needs to know.
Canvas Annuity

Annuity basics: how to retire with a guaranteed paycheck for life

Does the thought of retirement fill you with stress or with happiness? Everyone wants to spend their retirement in a way that brings them the most joy, whether that’s traveling the world or spending extra time at home with grandkids.
Phoenix police pick up approval, $95K for long-range, crowd-control speakers