With advances in technology we see new and scary ways criminals commit crimes. With the introduction of cell phones and scanners years ago, criminals could listen to police radio traffic and see where and how we police were responding. No need for "look outs", technology became the look out. Now in the computer age we see crimes from identity theft and hacking into computers to steal personal and corporate confidential information to cyber stalking and sexual predating to cell phone cloning. Criminals have a whole new playground and the playground as technology advances. But technology is not just for criminals. Law enforcement agencies are using technology to make police work more effective and efficient. Also police and communities are also using technology to make their communities safer.
Technology and the Individual Police OfficerThe future of policing from the perspective of individual police officers is understanding how the new technology works for the individual law enforcer. There are many new technologies that are being invented and implemented in law enforcement agencies across the country. The main goal for each new technology is to improve police work.
In a town in Mississippi, the local police agency received 24 refurbished computers from the Aurora, Colorado police department. The police chief in Mississippi was excited because these computers will be put into the squad cars of each officer. This new technology for this small town in Mississippi is making the law enforcement faster and more effective. The officers can now look through the databases in their squad cars. The officers do not need to call dispatch and wait for them to respond. The officer must then ask the dispatcher to look up the item or items that the officer needs to proceed with the situation. The new computers will also make writing the reports more clear and spelling is correct. Police Chief Lionel Cothern (2007) said, "I don't know what we would do without computers (Gulflive, 2007, para. 7)."New technology is ever present even if a new technology introduced to one law enforcement agency is new in the market or has been out for a while, if it helps the law enforcement community, it is an improvement.
Wireless technology is a fast growing technology that is helping the individual police officers as well as the agencies themselves. In San Francisco, the transit police officers have been given a wireless live video feed. The Police officers are now able to see through live video feed what is going on in approx. 39 stations and 100 miles of track (San Francisco city website, 2007). Commander Gomes said, "This really is the next wave in police work" (San Francisco city website, 2007). He also said, "Wireless technology and intelligent video systems can offer law enforcement a powerful tool to use against criminals (San Francisco city website, 2007)." This new technology allows the video link to be viewed 24 hours a day and seven days a week. The live video feeds will also allow the law enforcement in the Bay area to use facial recognition to see potential criminals and also to look into the background of people that have issues with the law. Each officer will eventually have hand held devices to use during situations that may be dangerous to them. These hand held devices allow the police officer to see what is going on in the section of track or station that an incident has happened.
New technologies within the law enforcement community are a very important tool that law enforcement has to use. Individual police officers use these technologies to help them save lives including their own in the line of duty. The new technologies can be innovative or new to the law enforcement agency that uses it. The goal for these new law enforcement tools is to help solve crime faster and more efficiently. The officer will have more time in securing their safety as well as others that they protect and serve.
Technology and Police...
References: ulflive, (2005). Police Chief Cothern. Retrieved July 3, 2007, from http://www.gulflive.com/news/mississippipress/news.ssf?/base/news/1173694579180270.xml.
San Francisco, (2006), San Francisco website. Retrieved July 3, 2007, from http://www.cisco.com/web/strategy/docs/trans/roadways_transit_police.pdf.
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