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  • sar@anzdmc.com.au

For decades Police Rescue search coordinators being the head of profession for Search and Rescue (SAR) have used paper topographical maps for the search coordination of missing persons.  

The need to rapidly find a location, utilise missing persons behaviour data, upload & download GPS data with the ability to draw on a computer based map, was becoming more pressing in the modern world of technology and  police responsibilities.

'PolSAR’ a Police Search and Rescue Tool
S/C Phillip Downes seated, S/C Scott Nicholls standing

Whilst paper maps will always have a place in the field of search coordination, Senior Constable Phillip Downes from NSW Police Rescue and Bomb Disposal Unit has developed a dedicated Land Search Coordinators mapping tool named ‘PolSAR’ – Police Search and Rescue.

PolSAR is a tool that operates on GIS mapping program MapInfo Pro. Police Rescue Search Coordinators need PolSAR as it performs so many functions in a short period of time and allows a rapid and precise deployment of appropriate resources.

PolSAR functions include:

Rapidly find a geographical feature, street address, UBD, latitude/longitude and grid reference on a map with positional accuracy

Ability to provide the relevant information to deploy the nearest appropriate police unit, accredited rescue unit,  external agency and resources to that location, including the relevant topographical map and coordinate formats

Able to develop and coordinate a multi agency land search operation in any environment without internet access by non GIS experts

Plot the missing person’s Last Known Position (LKP), whilst utilising theoretical and statistical data, with the aid of electronic drawing tools to coordinate a land search for all categories of missing person/s

Add search resources and allocate taskings and monitor their progress

Upload and download GPS data from search teams, add photos, clues, Points of Interest, mobile phone triangulation and probability of detection functionality.

Create a search canvass forms for door knocking, intelligence gathering and evacuation at incident related impact areas

Ability to progressively digitally capture a land search operation

Print professional topographical and digital based maps

PolSAR has brought NSW Police Rescue to the forefront of Land Search Operations in the Search and Rescue environment.

This update was kindly provided by Phillip Downes, who presented ”PolSAR’ a Police Search and Rescue Tool’ at the 2017 Australia & New Zealand Disaster and Emergency Management Conference.


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