Before technology in law enforcement can be understood, the term technology should be defined. At the most basic level, technology is any tool. In deed the root word of technology refers to the Greek word for the skill of craft of making tools. Technology has been defined as a system, as information and as knowledge for our purposes, technology can be any tool. Technology can be a hammer, the wheel, or a desk top, or personal computer. But it is important to consider that technology in the twenty first century is not defined by what it is or does, but how it is used. Since most work done by police employees involves information, we will concentrate on information of technology. Chapter 1 pg.8 Introduction to police technology by Raymond E. Foster There are numerous technological advantages which our law enforcement agencies are currently using to help fight crime. While in earlier years of the 1800s, the use of a patrol car and radio became a part of policing in an effort to enhance their abilities to respond to various service calls.
However, the use of technology continues to grow. Law enforcement officials are equipped with the following: Hand gun, computer services, internet, finger printing, in dash cameras, and the list goes on. Advanced Technology allows for the collection of more timely and accurate data, helping patrol officers respond more quickly and effectively to crime. (Grant & Terry, 2008, p. 343) Many of policing initial technological advances can be attributed to the work of August Vollmer, who headed the early twentieth- century police department in Berkeley, California.(Grant & Terry, 2008, p. 322) However, Kelling and Moor’s (1987) offer four useful stages to help conceptualize technological development in policing. These are explained as follow: First Stage (1881-1945) increased the use of mobility through motor vehicle patrol, and enhanced precinct communication through telephone and radio. Grant & Terry, 2008, p. 323)
Second stages, during this stage, traffic police received a significant boost with the advent of the first instruments to measure both speeding violations and the condition of a driver. Third Stage (1960-1979) this stage provided call distribution centers, computerized data banks, and computer sections became common place in police agencies. (Grant & Terry, 2008, p. 323) The technological advancement of this stage can also be attributed to President Lyndon B, Johnson. (Grant & Terry, 2008, p. 324) The fourth and final stage (1980-present) technology developed through this stage now provides law enforcement with access to data that would be unavailable to them without these tools. (Grant & Terry, 2008, p. 324)Examples: tele communication, computers, expert systems, imaging, etc. The importance of law enforcement access to such technological advancements is in many ways a balancing act between concerns for personal liberties and public security. The use of less-than-lethal weapons can reduce injury rates for suspects and officers compared to other options.
What is considered to be less-than-lethal weaponry? The term Conducted Energy Devices (CED) knows as a taser, along with pepper spray, batons, these are used to gain control over resistive suspects causing lesser serious injuries. The use of less-than-lethal weapons decrease, the odds of a perpetrator being injured by 70 percent. The use of (CED) is widespread is often controversial. But the use of less-than-lethal weaponry primary goal is to reduce injury. Law enforcement agencies abroad share the common goal of “protecting the rights and safety of America”. In some instances, that could mean protecting a suspect from themselves. It only takes a quick second for a suspect to totally escalate a situation from being minor to becoming life threatening. This is when and where the true ability of the officer’s training kicks in. First, must the officer elect the need or use of his hand gun, which we consider to be the use of deadly force. Secondly, the use of less-than-lethal method of restraint of being tased, or pepper sprayed.
These methods will cause less than minimal harm to a suspect. Our law enforcement agencies face much scrutiny of the community of options used to handle service calls. In an effort to minimize injuries the use of less-than-lethal weaponry has become a major help to precincts around the world. However, the use of CED’s can also be used inappropriately just as any other measure of law enforcement. In an essence to assure all problems are managed. The law enforcement Executives of America must monitor, train, and retrain if necessary, as well as hold officers accountable for not following policies to the letter (t) of implementation. In doing so the ramifications against any police agencies may be lessened. Such as: Law suits, reputation of police being tarnished, medical bills, judgments and legal settlements. In closing, I will say we must keep the community as a whole safe.
Today’s law enforcement faces so many dangers in their day-to-day duties. As a society we are protected by those very same officers who vow to “serve and protect us”. However, the true reality is they put their lives on the line each and every day not knowing if they themselves will become a fatality to the job, in which they protect others. The question often comes to my mind in life. Who will protect them? But by way of a higher power they are called to do just what they are doing. “Serving and Protecting”. The following are dangers faced by law enforcement officers daily. Foot pursuits, Stress, making an arrest, vehicle pursuit, or merely being shot by a suspect facing apprehension of a law enforcement officer. In carrying out their job detail they must always be ready for the unknown. Foot pursuits put both officers and suspects in danger.
This type of combat should be well thought out, because the suspect could possibly have a weapon. If this being the case it may result in a tragic deadly circumstance, there a consequences of a behavior of an officer if he does not stay in direct line of the Constitutions of the law in making an arrest. A police officer having probable cause to believe that a person has committed or is committing a felony shall have the authority to arrest the person without a warrant. In this case the officer must Mirandize, the perpetrator. I feel that the most dangerous to me is a high pursuit also known as a “code3”. Officers become responsible not only for the selves, and their vehicles. They are responsible for the traffic in which surrounds them. These are just a few of the many ways officers put their lives at risk. “The mission of law enforcement is to maintain public safety primarily by reducing the occurrence of crime in society”.
Often time’s officers are involved in shootings, in some instances and the mere thought of a shooting being deemed as unjustifiable brings the police officer along with his assigned precinct into question. If the construction of reinforcement among his peers and ranking officers are a consistent tool used by him and all law enforcement officers the investigative process will be easy to make the ruling of justified or unjustifiable. Officers should continue to allow their training to be the back bone of their career as this will also assist is their service calls being done by the book. I applaud each and every officer who puts their life at risk for the sake of keeping me and my family safe. The law enforcement agencies addresses all issues by making sure that all officers are following the set guidelines, policies and procedures set by their department.
Grant, H. B., & Terry, K. J. (2008). Law Enforcement in the 21st Century (2nd ed.). http://wps.pearsoncustom.com/wps/media/object/6904/7070202/CRJ105_ch01.pdf