Technology is hailed for making our lives more efficient and more enjoyable. It’s even making our society safer by aiding law enforcement. The new technology is revolutionizing law enforcement in ways they have not seen since they started using fingerprints as identification. Here are a few of the ways technology will make it harder than ever before to get away with murder.
Robotic Cameras Provide Valuable Information
Knowledge is power, and police can always use more information when they are dealing with active crime scenes. When it’s not safe for officers to enter an area to determine what’s going on, robotic cameras can be deployed to gather data and help them make decisions. These cameras can move and explore an area through wireless operation. It’s helpful when they are searching homes or trying to see around blind corners where a suspect might be lurking.
Knowing Where a Shot Came From
When shots are fired, the perpetrators don’t usually wait around for the police to arrive. Advanced gunshot detection systems can be used to determine exactly where the shot was fired from when police arrive. With this information, they know where to look for casings, fingerprints and other evidence. The systems use electronic sensors scattered around a neighborhood to pinpoint the source of gunfire, so it’s easier for detectives to get the evidence they need to identify a suspect, make an arrest and get the conviction. The systems are left in place in high-risk areas, and they can even alert police when shots are fired.
Multi-Tasking with Tablets
Some police departments are providing their officers with tablets for taking notes, recording witness statements and even filing reports. The information only has to be entered once, so officers save time over the days when they had to write everything down by hand and then enter it in the computer later. The mobile technology allows officers to take their offices on the road with them, so they can get the paperwork done while remaining visible in the community. The time they don’t have to spend on paperwork can now be used to solve crimes, patrol areas and keep the neighborhoods safe.
Higher Apprehension Rates with Better Identification Systems
There are two problems with using fingerprints to determine who was at a crime scene. The first is that the prints have to be there if they are to be lifted. Second, they are only useful if they are on file somewhere. While they can be used to make a match after arrest, they won’t automatically provide officers with a name if the person has never been fingerprinted.
With criminal becoming smarter about using gloves and being careful, it’s important for technology to find better ways to identify them. The Next Generation Identification system from the FBI uses things like iris scans, facial recognition software, palm prints and even gait recordings to positively identify people. This technology is particularly useful in cases where a suspect is on camera, but there are no fingerprints available to identify a suspect.
Tit for Tat, Share What you Know
Our sprawling country and a lack of communication between agencies once made it easy for people to cross state lines and disappear. This lack of information sharing meant that someone with an arrest warrant in one state could be pulled over in another without being arrested. Times have changed, technology has improved and greater data sharing means that these loopholes are closing fast. In addition to sharing information between states, there is also a greater information exchange between government agencies like the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice. Knowledge is power, and law enforcement agencies become far more powerful when they work together and share their knowledge.
Technology is a marvelous thing for your home, your job and even your personal safety. When law enforcement is more effective at identifying and capturing criminals, law-abiding citizens are safer. From robotic cameras, gunshot identification systems and facial recognition programs to the use of tablets and data sharing, there is no doubt that technology is aiding law enforcement personnel in protecting society.
Kathryn Coles is a full-time writer for higher ed blogs and journals nationwide with a focus on online education opportunities. Several schools offer online masters in criminal justice, including Portland State University and Western Oregon University.