Technology and Policing

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Technology & Policing

Kristin E. Blue

March 12, 2011

UMUC/Prof. Richard Bobys

Technology and Policing

The use of technology in the police department started as early as 1850’s when a multi shot pistol was for the first time made. Over the years, technology has evolved and different institutions have adjusted accordingly and embraced technology in their work. Technology is still being used widely to make work more efficient, produce effective results and the police have not been left behind. The police are faced with the responsibility of maintaining law and order, respond to distress calls, protecting citizens and regulating traffic. Law Enforcement embraced the use of a wide range of these scientific techniques to curb criminals. Policing has integrated technology in their work to make apprehension of criminals and investigation of cases easier. Technology in the police department ranges from computers to computer software which has made policing more convenient and efficient to the public community and to the law enforcers. This paper will therefore establish the particular technological advances that have made police work more accurate and time saving, how much of the technology the law enforement should embrace and how technology is being used by law enforcement. Two journals are compared and contrasted.

Peter Manning, in his journal describes how technology has helped in policing through use of information technology in crime analysis and crime mapping. In his journal, Manning argues that although technology in police departments have helped in solving crimes and curbing criminals more efficiently, technology is not being used to its full potential to fight crime. Some police departments are yet to embrace policing technology and this derails them in fighting crime. Therefore, he recommends suitable technologies that can be adopted in policing to make their work easier (Manning, 2008). In his journal, he explores the interrelationship between public and private police institution. His six year long research focuses on three police department in Washington and explores the effects that different forms of technology have on policing. His journal further looks into crime mapping and crime analysis in ways which the law enforcement firms can use to make their work more effective.

Another journal, Police Technology by Raymond E. Foster explores the history of technology in policing. In his journal, Raymond also notes that technology has not been fully utilized in policing. Raymond attributes the effectiveness through which crimes are solved to technology. Fingerprinting and crime laboratories which were introduced in policing in the 1900s made solving of cases by the police faster. He further explores the role of private sector manufacturers, whose services the police depend to acquire the technology needed. Raymond’s report notes the introduction of computer in police stations to have been around the 1970s. He however reports that computers were not being used by the police to make their work effective, maybe due to the complexity of the gadget (Raymond, 2008). Police officers were hence required to take courses to upgrade themselves to be able to use the computers although insufficient funds marred the training. Once in complete use, the computers cut the paper work in police departments almost by half. Today, even the small police stations have computers.

The most widely used technology by the police is use of mobile phones. This technology gives room for mobility of the officers which is much needed if they are to catch up with criminals. Use of mobile phone technology allows the officers to access information from the Police National Computers, hence allowing them to do their work without being at the office, hence efficiently. The emergency response departments have gained a lot from the use of mobile gadgets as they are able to respond faster to situations...
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