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Electrochemical Cells

I remember way back when, Detective Paul Best informed me his primary role in the Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement (JADE) Task Force was playing electronic handy-man; he’d fix up the dilapidated devices employed by their officers so that they would be in at least quasi-functional shape for surveillance operations. While we spoke in length about the sorry condition of much of their gear, I never thought to ask him about what powers the equipment -- a point that’s kind of weird for somebody like me, who thrives on minutia, to neglect. Too late now to fish for such information from any of their members myself.

These are the batteries utilized by the Virginia State Police (VSP) Criminal Intelligence Division (CID) Technical Support Unit (TSU):

According to my super-sexy source, the VSP are only permitted to use each electricity supplier once per investigation because they can’t risk having an old one go dead when they’re surreptitiously, say, taping a suspect confessing illegal activities to a wire-wearing snitch. Makes sense.

I’m told, however, at the Parham Road Richmond office, the voltaic piles are recycled. Upon removal they’re dropped in a box, and Special Agents and Troopers are free to take and install them in incidental contraptions non-essential to work-conducted procedures.

It may or may not be ironic that the AAs which run the camera I tote to shoot pictures of VA State Policemen and the AAAs which drive the Olympus I carry to also record them came out of that very box. It definitely is, though, in my opinion, wicked funny.