WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Infrared Thermometers for Law Enforcement

Aug 26, 2016

Bonnie Skripps, President of the Humane Society of McDonough County, said the group does fundraising "all the time." The organization decided to use some of the cash it raised to buy infrared thermometers for law enforcement agencies in the county.

Officers can point them at a parked vehicle to determine the interior temperature, which could come in handy if they run across a child or pet left unattended in a car.

“This is part of what we do to give back to the community,” said Skripps. “For what’s relatively a small bit of money, being able to provide some preventative measures … we feel like that’s a good investment.”

Skripps has a Car Temperature Pet Safety chart that shows how quickly the interior of a parked car can heat up.

·        Outside temp: 70    Inside temp: 89 after 10 minutes, 104 after 30 minutes

·        Outside temp: 75    Inside temp: 94 after 10 minutes, 109 after 30 minutes

·        Outside temp: 80    Inside temp: 99 after 10 minutes, 114 after 30 minutes

·        Outside temp: 85    Inside temp: 104 after 10 minutes, 119 after 30 minutes

·        Outside temp: 90    Inside temp: 109 after 10 minutes, 124 after 30 minutes

·        Outside temp: 95    Inside temp: 114 after 10 minutes, 129 after 30 minutes

The Humane Society gave two thermometers each to the McDonough County Sheriff’s Department and the Macomb Police Department, and one each to the Bushnell and Colchester Police Departments.

Sheriff Rick VanBrooker, Macomb Police Chief Curt Barker, Colchester Police Chief Dave Bland, Humane Society President Bonnie Skripps, Humane Society Vice President Bill Johnson (left to right).
Credit Rich Egger

Macomb Police Chief Curt Barker said his department receives four or five calls each summer about a pet left unattended in a vehicle that could be dangerously hot inside. He said officers usually manage to find the owner in short order.

“Most people have not left their animal in there for that long of time so that we’re able to do an announcement in the store and get those individuals out,” Barker said.

“But if at any point the officer felt that the animal or the child was at risk, we would break the window.”