New UV gun takes aim at meth users

Now this is beyond cool. Police are being armed with UV guns that use spectroscopy to detect trace amounts of methamphetamine and other illicit drugs:

CDEX recently filed a patent application to prepare the device for use in the “Homeland Security market,” according to Wade Poteet, a principal scientist working in CDEX’s Tucson-based research lab.

The methamphetamine and illicit-drug detector employs a form of spectroscopy technology, which enables it to pick up the faintest sign of drugs on any surface, Poteet said.

While the technology behind detecting drugs with an ultraviolet light is not new, Poteet said, this is the first time the technique, which is usually confined to a lab, will be used for this type of application.

Rich Roberts, spokesman for the International Union of Police Associations, said he could envision the meth gun as a helpful supplement to K-9 narcotics units.

“Dogs have a limited attention span. Plus, you’re limited in K-9 units as far as the number of dogs,” he said. “So having additional equipment like that would spread the capability of the department.”

K-9s are by far the superior weapon in fighting illegal drugs, but cool UV guns that law enforcement can take into the field is interesting.

For those unfamiliar with the idea, UV light is something emitted by just about everything and to different degrees. So naturally, what one might see in the normal color spectrum isn’t what one would see in the infrared (think like in Predator).

In the ultraviolet light, you get to see all sorts of stuff that normally the naked eye would miss. If you’re a strung out drug addict, these UV guns are hope on a string… ’cause the sooner you get folks aware of the problem, the sooner they can get help and the sooner we can get those who peddle death off the streets.

Ain’t science cool?

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