To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Monday, October 29, 2007

DC Police Find a New Way to Scare People

"The Rumbler" is a new device installed on MPD marked cars. It "vibrates everything" within 200 feet and is being used in conjunction with sirens and lights to force motorists to yield to police cars.

I would have less issue with The Rumbler if it replaced the urban nuisance of constant police siren blaring, much of it probably unnecesary, at all hours. Instead, this device will be an additional nuisance. If it shakes anything within 200 feet, then won't it also rattle windows of homes? From the Wa Post today:
With a pair of high-output woofers and an amplifier, the Rumbler is not louder than a regular siren. It gets its message across with low-frequency sound waves that shake everything, including rear-view mirrors.

The Rumbler is meant to be used judiciously, in situations where motorists should pull over to make way for the police. It is timed to turn off automatically after 10 seconds. Still, police officials said, some people might be startled when they first experience it. And it remains to be seen if the public will view all that shaking as a helpful warning or just a nuisance.
Hit & Run post on the subject here. To assess the odds of police using force "judiciously" go here.

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