STEM in Law Enforcement and Public Safety

Published: 08/14/2019

On Friday afternoon, August 9, 2019, the members of Segura Enterprises, Leo Rodriguez, Carlos Morton III, Daven Segura, Mario Orendain and Efren Doroteo, presented a demonstration of their project, "Light the Way," which is designed to reduce the response time of first responders and increase the awareness of pedestrians and drivers of approaching emergency vehicles.

The patent-pending system utilizes LED warning lights in pavement markers in the center of streets and in cross-walks to direct pedestrians and drivers to the side of streets and out of danger. This permits the emergency vehicles to pass through traffic and busy intersections quickly and safely. The LED warning lights are controlled by a communication system connecting the emergency vehicles and the Riverside Dispatch Center for our Police, Fire and EMT first responders. By knowing the location of the emergency to which the first responders are heading and the position of the emergency vehicles, the software system predicts which pavement markers to turn on about 30 seconds prior to the arrival of the emergency vehicles and then turn them off after the last emergency vehicle has passed by.

"Light the Way" was the First-Place project of the 2016 STEM in Law Enforcement and Public Safety, STEM LEAPS program. During the past two summers, the team has worked to develop a working prototype and refine their software to meet the safety requirements of the Riverside Police Department, Fire Department and City of Riverside. Friday's demonstration showed that the system works and meets many of the requirements determined to be necessary.

STEM was founded in year 2000 by Congressman Ken Calvert to develop and conduct programs to encourage Inland Empire students to pursue STEM educations and STEM careers. During its three summer programs, high school students devote a week at no cost to the students to learning about STEM careers available in the Riverside Police Department, Riverside Fire Department and Riverside Public Utilities. Working in teams of five, they design and develop a project to improve the safety and effectiveness of our first responders and public servants, which they present to an expert panel of judges. You can learn more about STEP and its programs at www.myscienceeducation.com.