In this paper I will be explaining critical issues in policing. I will address the following key aspects of policing activities and operations: The dangers of policing, less than lethal weapons, technology used in policing, issues of homeland security and law enforcement relationships, and one additional critical issue in policing that is of interest to you and with that I will explain the issue and explain how the issue is relevant to this paper. Most people say that the worst danger to a police officer is the possibility of getting shot. There are a few dangers that police officers face on a day to day basis that bring forth the threat of getting shot or being injured naturally like heat stroke, stress, foot pursuits, vehicle pursuits, bio-hazard exposure or sun exposure, responding to Code3 (lights and siren), making an arrest, duty equipment, and traffic control. All officers wear heavy leather belts and ballistic vests that contain a handgun, radio, handcuffs, pepper spray, and baton. The weight of all of these items can put stress on the feet, back, knees, and hips.
Picture wearing this gear weighing about 20 pounds and getting in and out of your police car numerous of times, it will put a wear and tear on your body. Some officers can’t work in law enforcement anymore because of their injuries. Out of all the dangers I listed, the most dangerous ones are responding to Code3 and pursuit driving. Officers have to be aware of the traffic flow and keep control of their vehicle while in pursuit. They are responsible for suspect that they are chasing even though they have no control over the suspect’s vehicle. The safety of the public is always the officer’s priority. Less than lethal weapons are also called non-lethal weapons, less-lethal weapons, pain-inducing weapons, compliance weapons, or non-deadly weapons. These are weapons that will not kill a living target. These weapons are used in combat situations to limit the escalation of conflict where policy restricts the use of conventional force, where rules of engagement require casualties, or where employment of lethal force is undesirable or prohibited.
When less than lethal weapons are used by police officers they are mainly used in self-defense, refugee control, crowd control, prison control, or riot control. A few of less lethal weapons are pressure fire hoses from water cannons or fire trucks, police dogs, armor and shields, tear gas, mace, sleeping gas, shot guns with rubber bullets, wax bullets, plastic bullets, ring airfoil projectiles, and beanbag rounds, flexible baton rounds, pepper spray, paintball guns, and the Taser. Here are a few technologies that are in the police departments: Crime lights- allow a crime scene to be processed more thoroughly and faster. In- Car Camera Systems- allow officers to record video footage from the patrol car such as traffic stop, arrests and criminal investigations.
Photo Enforcement Systems- generates speeding summons and/or red light violations. Graffiti Cameras- it takes photographs of suspects who are vandalizing property and it notifies the police. Thermal Imaging- produce images of radiated surface energy in the thermal portion of the electromagnetic spectrum through nonintrusive electronic devices. Electronic White Boards- an update from the dry-erase board. This board can keep notes for future reference. Radios- Officers can share criminal records, pictures of suspects, bulletins, fingerprints, and surveillance video footage across several miles in minutes with radios. Lasers- handheld laser spectroscopy devices.
Global Positioning System- GPS technology allows dispatch centers to know what patrol units are closest to respond to an emergency. Low-cost applications include equipping detective cars with portable units for improved efficiency.
Homeland security begins with hometown security. As part of its commitment to hometown security, DHS has worked to get resources, tools, and information out of Washington, D.C. and into the hands of our territorial, state, federal, and local law enforcement partners. The department works to strengthen its analytic capabilities to achieve better awareness of emerging and new threats, improve how it shares and communicates information, and enhance the kind of federal resources and support it provides through training, grants, and other means.
A critical issue in policing that I am aware of is social media and public disorder. Social media starts public disorder. One example is the taping of bad officers or the good officer and say bad things about him. All it takes is one negative thing to say about police and the world thinks all police are the same. Social media will twist a story for the worst. An officer can save a dog from a burning house and the media can say the police was the one that started the fire and that’s what the world is going to go with. Social media is similar to this paper because now most law enforcement agencies have cameras in there police car and on them when they do their job. The camera is better because it tells the truth and it’s the best witness against social media.
In this paper I talked about the critical issues in policing. I addressed the following key aspects of policing activities and operations: The dangers of policing, less than lethal weapons, technology used in policing, issues of homeland security and law enforcement relationships. I also talked about social media and its problems. The camera is one of the solutions of social media. It tells the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.