The advancement of technology has revolutionized the way that we live, and technology is continuously transforming how the police force works. With newer tools, systems, and the rise of artificial intelligence, there is a huge arsenal for law enforcement to choose from.
Here are 4 important technologies that every police force should be investing in.
1. Body Cameras
Body cameras are being used more and more in the police force in recent years. This is generally due to high-profile incidents which have drawn public attention and scrutiny from the media. Wearing body cameras benefit all parties involved, the police, the suspect, and the public.
The impact of body cameras has been profound in law enforcement as it ensures all officers are following the rules and if they aren’t then there is evidence to hold them accountable. On the flip side, if a suspect assaults an officer, then this will be caught on camera and will be used as evidence against them.
In short, it keeps everyone accountable and aware, and with the current political climate that we live in at the moment, this is crucial for establishing a trusting relationship between civilians and police.
Some officers have complained of wearing clunky, uncomfortable, and unhelpful body cameras. However, technology has continued to develop and there are new models which are smaller and record wider and clearer fields of vision as well as from different points of view.
This is far better than older models that had poor audio and restricted vision, as often they were not able to be used. This is a real game-changer and something that all police forces should be investing in.
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2. Computer-Aided Dispatch Systems
For those of you unfamiliar with what this is, a computer-aided dispatch system is a system that is used by 911 operators, dispatchers, and call takers to create a collective resource to cut down response time.
Call operators use computer-aided dispatch systems to prioritize incidents, identity, and dispatch responder personnel based on priority and location. Emergency responders who are on duty can then receive messages from the system that connects to their radios or phones.
This technology is highly beneficial as it maximizes efficiency across all areas and reduces response time. The importance of this is not to be under-estimated, and this innovative technology is only going to continue to benefit not only the police force but also the public.
There are many different types of drones available to the police and the public, and some of these models are highly sophisticated. For example, the better models feature thermal imaging, 3D mapping, and enhanced GPS precision. The police use drones when they need an aerial point of view for searching efforts, rescuing, crowd monitoring, and more.
It is an advanced piece of technology and they tend to be equipped with high-resolution cameras that have extensive zooming potential. This is a vital tool for the police and it helps them gain visual access to areas that might be too dangerous for a police officer to physically access.
For example, if there was an active shooter on the loose, it is far safer and more efficient to locate the shooter with the aerial vantage point that a drone provides.
There has been some concern among the public that the police will use drones to monitor people without reason. However this is not how drone technology is used, and Chief Terence Monahan of the New York Police Department issues a statement saying that “drones will not be used for warrantless surveillance.”
And so, while there is some fear-mongering that exists out there around drones, they are used to enhance response time and keep the public safe.
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4. Thermal Imaging
Thermal imaging has always been an important tool for policing units as they are particularly useful in dark lighting. They deliver a heat map of the area they are searching and it is helpful to track the movements of humans and animals.
They are not only used for following the movements of a suspect but can also be used in rescue contexts, for instance finding a person after an avalanche. While thermal imaging is not a new technology, its usefulness has been apparent for years now and the technology itself is only continuing to become smarter and more refined.
There you have four incredibly important technologies that every police force should be looking to invest in. We have to accept our limitations as humans and use the tools that are available to us, particularly in a policing context as each of the listed technologies will improve the efficiency of policing units.