INDIO, Calif. -

The Indio Police Department is using a new barrier system to block-off serious accidents and crime scenes with the goal to keep traffic moving -- and also protect victims and their families.

"We just felt that how would we want our families... how would we want to treat our brethren or brothers and sisters in the police department? So, we just felt that it was a natural step," said Sgt. Dan Marshall with the Indio Police Department.

Two months ago, the department purchased a portable barrier system to stop rubbernecking, called the "SNR1000." It's a privacy screen used by law enforcement agencies to protect victims and their families from curious onlookers.
Sergeant Marshall said accidents and crime scenes can remain active for hours.. And it's especially a concern when children may be around. He said investigators faced that scenario a few years ago.

"We weren't going to be able to move the victim at that time, so at that time we used a handmade protective barrier just to protect the kids. We didn't want them seeing that," he said.

The department also more recently concerned with looky-loos who could potentially snap pictures and then post them on social media.

"Once a picture gets on the internet its there forever. So, we're taking those steps right up front before anyone even knows about it to try and give the (victim's) family some privacy," Sgt. Marshall said.  
      
For police officers working a scene... the screen also keeps them safe serving as a protective barrier...
 
"So far its evolved into this new system that we have that lights up, it identifies who we are, its reflective to keep people from walking into it, or hitting it if its on the side of the road," Sgt. Marshall said.

The Indio Police Department is one among very few law enforcement agencies in the state to be using the SNR1000 barrier system.
          
"That just goes with our history of the Indio Police Department being innovative and trying to stay ahead of new technology and new ideas," Sgt. Marshall said.

All going back to the ultimate mission to serve and protect.