Columbus police have used a 40 thousand dollar U.S. Department of Homeland Security grant to purchase high-tech audio equipment that will help control rowdy crowds.
The long-range acoustic device mounted atop an armored vehicle can send an ear-splitting directional blast of sound that acts like a water canon to break up crowds. It also has the ability to clearly broadcast messages within a range of 1.8 miles. Police say the purchase was made after residents who have been tear gassed in crowds complained they never heard warnings to disperse. Police declined to provide technical specifics such as the LRAD's exact decibel level. Police held a demonstration of the device for reporters on Monday.