Policing Innovations and Issues in the 21st Century

     American policing has experienced a period of significant evolution and innovation in the 21st Century. Many claim that this era of change is the most dramatic one in the history of policing. Everybody is aware that it is the duty of law enforcers to control crime and maintain peace and order in the society by providing wide range of services to the public. Prior to the dawn of technological advances, the police do not have enough resources to keep up with their increasing workload and this major set-back put them and the civilians in an extremely vulnerable position. Today, the advent of technology made it possible for the police to do their job more efficiently and effectively. All of the developments that happened in the police force enabled the law enforcers to communicate with each other in a proficient and cost efficient manner.

    Nowadays, police agencies are relying greatly in the help of technological innovations to assist them in solving crimes. Everybody is amazed by the fast-paced technological innovations that have been happening such as the advances in crime mapping and the use and discovery of DNA in crime investigations. These discoveries made life safer and easier for both the police and the civilians. Crime scene investigation was one of the many subjects that police are training for and this is one of the areas the demand technological upgrade.

    The development of gadgets such as the of the two-way radio, telegraph and patrol car computers helped the law enforcers do their jobs with more accuracy, speed and efficiency not only the aspect of crime scene investigations but also when it comes to their daily functions. The use of the two way radio is very common in patrol cards. It is called as such because it is capable of transmitting and receiving signals and unlike an ordinary radio, the two way radios permit a person to speak into a station while sending messages from that station to other radio users in the vicinity. Police scanner codes are short term words or abbreviations that are used by law enforcers to communicate through their radio in cases of emergency. These codes enable the police to send data about their present situation quickly. These codes make use of the police scanners that act as radio receivers in tuning and scanning frequencies (Khara).

    The police cars come in great handy every time someone is in need of assistance. Police use their cars to patrol the locality, to chase the suspects, to restrain offenders and today, it is also used to communicate with fellow police officers. The modern police cars have two-way radios, computers for monitoring and high powered engines for emergency chases (Grabianowski). In Delray Beach, the installation of computers in police patrol vehicles have greatly lessened the time that the officers spend in performing their routine works like the writing of traffic tickets and police reports. This virtual planner program produced 84 increase in the traffic stops and criminal citations. Not only that, the average time they they spent on a traffic stop decreased from 25 minutes to 15 minutes. This virtual planner has a voice developer that verbally relays the information as a response to the questions entered by the police. The voice response  gives the officer exact information as to the tag and status of the drivers license as well as the color, type and model of the vehicle. This confirms the warrant hits by sending a signal an audible alert signal to the police. It also enables an officer to keep his focus on both the offender and the vehicle without a need to look at the computer screen thereby eliminating distractions and increasing police safety ( Innovations in Policing ).

    Police cars and radios are not the only tool that law enforcement have to combat crime. Today, there is also a crime solving robot that exists and is named Arturito. It was first used in Chile in order to scan a farmhouse for a business mans dead body. Within two hours, the robot has already pinpointed the place where the body was buried. The robot was also able to discover buried treasures and it also sniffs out land mines. The Leica Geosystems laser scanner has the capability to scan and photograph a crime scene quickly. In 2004, the highway patrol in California use this equipment to disprove the claim of a driver that his brakes faded before slamming into Volkswagen and killed the other driver ( Busted 10 Awesome Technology-Assisted Police Cases ).

    The high-tech equipments that police departments have been using to carry out surveillance minimizes the occurrence of injuries and puts them out of danger. For instance, the iRobot Negotiator is a devise used by Orland SWAT team has a camera so that the police can see what the robot sees. The robot can climb the stairs, deliver packages and carry out surveillances and this qualities helps police operations a lot. According to an officer, the key in handling these gadgets is knowing when to use and when not to use them. Law enforcers are often being introduced to new technological developments. They are being given headsets that picks up what the wearer is saying by reading the vibrations in the jawbones. According to FBI Secret Service, todays environment leaves everyone with no choice but to move forward. However, Sergeant Canty is of the view that despite the wondrous contributions that technology brought, it also has drawbacks. Deploying these gadgets sometimes slow his team because no matter how advanced these tools are, they are no substitute to human skill. Technology must be perceived as a supplement that helps the police do their jobs better but what is indispensable are the good qualities of the officers who must run these machines (  Police Using More High-Tech Gadgets ).

    Due to the changing of the times, there is an increasing need for the cops to be much smarter in order to catch the bad guys because it is not surprising to find out that the criminals have turned this positive innovation to their advantage. The challenge that law enforcers are facing today and in the future is the fact that the advancement of technology also made the criminals more sophisticated and up to date with what to do to escape and avoid being caught. They too, have come to terms with high tech gadgets thereby making their crimes more technologically enhanced.   This dilemma puts more pressure on law enforcement to keep remodeling and changing their tactics. Familiarizing themselves with the genre of crimes that the criminals are perpetuating is among the primary responsibility of these police men who are engaged in public service (Foster). This challenge teaches the police force in the country never to be complacent with their current position because the safety and security of the general public lies in their hands.


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