Law Enforcement: Run and Chase with Technology!

CIOReview | Sunday, December 27, 2020

Drones, robots, social media, smartphones, biometrics, GPS, and augmented reality are some technologies that are helping police officers do their work efficiently, thereby also safeguarding their well-being.

Envision a robbery in progress wherein a surveillance drone is promptly dispatched to the spot to trail the fleeing suspects to their hideout or home without knowledge. The course of action can shun a potential hostage circumstance or unnecessary injuries. In the early period, police did not even have computers available at their stations. Technology today has developed by leaps and bounds and is changing the way police officers do their work. From microcomputers in eyeglasses to drones in the sky, technological advancements are thriving.

Drones and Robots on Patrol

Today robots and drones hold vast potential to solve and prevent crimes. In reality, drones have turn out to be the eyes in the sky for law enforcement officials, while robots are capable go into locations that officers cannot without risking injury or death.

Some benefits of robots and drones include:

• Any bomb threats can be investigated with remote-controlled robots equipped with cameras. The robots can climb steps and move just about like a human being does.

Drones can capture images and videos of crimes as they take place, providing essential evidence in future court proceedings.

• Remote robots and unmanned drones can help patrol in ways and areas that the police force cannot. The machines give real-time data to police dispatchers and crime analysts so that officers can get crucial information about dangerous situations and crimes in progress as they unfold. Overall, the process can help officers to plan responses better and save lives.

Portable Lasers

The portable lasers involve lasers that can sever a limb with just a beam of light. Law enforcement makes use of handheld lasers that can immediately report the chemical composition of unidentified substances.

With the help of lasers, officers can make sure if they are coming in contact with anything questionable. Additionally, the police staff will have the required answers even before a lab gets started by issuing a report or the test.

Social Media

Social media has created a personal sharing hysteria. People, most often talk about the importance of privacy then go online, sharing unlimited personal details willingly through social media platforms. Many people post what they are doing, eating, or thinking at any given moment.

Besides, social media has also proven to be a vital criminal justice tool for crime analysts, law enforcement agencies, and probation and community control officers. Additionally, the platform helps police to locate clues and screen candidates for employment.

There have been several cases of police solving crimes based on tips obtained from social media posts. Furthermore, many undetected crimes also have been effectively prosecuted through videos posted on video-sharing apps. While social media seems like an exceptional tool for social and marketing platform, its potential as a crime-fighting tool is only starting to be realized.

Mixed and Augmented Reality Smartglasses

Picture an officer on foot patrol whose special glasses can record and evaluate everything on the street as it unfolds in front. Additionally, imagine a built-in screen that gives information about the neighboring homes, vehicles, businesses, homes, while facial recognition software providing real-time data about the people. Some companies have turned the scenario into actuality.

Facial recognition has been in occurrence since a long period, and simple smartphone apps can provide an augmented reality experience using the phone's camera. All the data helps officers patrol more efficiently and keep them and their charges secure.

Biometrics for Identification and Data Security

Biometrics entails using unique biological traits like retina scans, fingerprints, retina scans, and DNA. The technology helps officers to recognize individuals and has relatively gained a commonplace in law enforcement circles. The main aim of biometrics is for purposes of data security to suspect identification.

The process of biometrics once involved a tedious task of including fingerprint cards, ink, and analysis by hand. The results obtained using biometric data and fingerprints and other biometric data could take weeks or even months.

In the present day, officers can use handheld scanners to directly identify individuals with criminal pasts as technology has become portable and readily available.

Built-in laptop scanners can provide added security to make sure that no unauthorized person can obtain access to personal information or sensitive intelligence. DNA software and databases reduce the backlog and time that once served as principal obstructions to solve crimes.

Smartphones and Tablets

Laptop in a patrol car was once all the rage, but the device had its limitations. The increasing portability of connected devices facilitates new uses and apps for police officers.

From handheld electronic ticket-writing devices to translation services that assist in communicating with non-English speakers, the police workforce is boomed with technology. The devices can access, record, and circulate central data on smartphones and tablets, despite the location.

Automatic Tag and License Plate Readers

Mounted to the exterior of patrol vehicles, electronic tag readers have become more rampant, predominantly among larger traffic-oriented agencies and departments. Electronic tag readers instantaneously analyze license plates on each vehicle that comes within their field of view, using cameras connected to vehicle information databases.

Officers can additionally be alerted to the fact that they are driving behind a stolen vehicle without the need to lift a finger. Besides, the police force is no longer required to call in tags to dispatchers one at a time to verify the stolen vehicles. Tag readers have the potential to amplify the number of vehicles recovered and criminals in custody.

Law Enforcement Use of GPS

Global Positioning System (GPS) apps continue to swell into the law enforcement community. The officers can pinpoint the location of a call via GPS technology and decide the safest and fastest route to get people the assistance they need more proficiently.

In addition, officers can record the position of their traffic stops and crash investigations. The information obtained can be exported to maps to find out how enforcement efforts can better focus on reducing the occurrences of traffic crashes. GPS technology can facilitate crime analysts to identify the emerging trends in crime locations furthermore helping to better plan for patrol assignments and shift staffing.

Proof and Accountability GPS also adds increased liability for officers, letting supervisory personnel and management to track location and the speed at which the force is traveling. The uses and innovations help keep officers truthful and assist them in maintaining the high ethical standards they are held to, moreover safeguarding their well-being. The same facet applies to in-car vehicles and body cameras. The devices record what precisely happened in any situation; when an officer is accused of something that never took place or when an officer steps over the line. The proof of what happened will be available on the recording. 

See also: Top Biometric Companies in APAC

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