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The positive and negative effects of technological advances on law enforcement and communication

How Technology is Changing Law Enforcement The latest high-tech innovations offer benefits and challenges for crime fighters. Solar When I started my career in law enforcement nearly 35 years ago, the only "technology" we needed was the police radio and the location of the nearest pay phone.

Today police radios scan 30 channels and officers typically have in-car video cameras, traffic monitoring radar units, in-car computer data terminals with Internet access, body cameras, a department-issued cellphones and, of course, personal cellphones. Advances in technology have been a mixed blessing for contemporary law enforcement agencies.

Take the explosive spread of Internet access over the last two decades, for example.

On one hand, everyday technologies like social media and other applications are a boon to law enforcement but they have also made it possible for gangs and even terrorist organizations to coordinate like never before, creating an entirely new digital space that needs policing. Many in the law enforcement community have particularly cited a mobile app called Wazea traffic-tracking tool that displays the current location of police officers, as potentially allowing those with criminal intent to avoid or seek out and harm law enforcement personnel.

While this certainly complicates the work of keeping the public safe, criminals using the Internet, whatever they use it for, often leave a trail behind. With the proper knowledge and tools on their side, law enforcement technicians can use this expansive channel of communication against potential or suspected criminal offenders. The Internet has become a broad web of shared personal information that remains permissible as evidence when attained legally, creating an organic database of recorded behaviors that can provide unique insight into each case.

When analyzed, this data can even be useful in identifying criminal patterns and anticipating threats.

The same rapid expansion of technology forcing quick adaptation on the part of police has set the stage for exciting, innovative tools that help officers serve their communities. Law enforcement agencies around the country have recognized the value of these tools, using them to meet the shifting demands of police work.

Some are still relatively untested, others are controversial, but each new armament in the fight against crime has the potential to radically alter the way law enforcement operates. These devices take a three-dimensional scan of an entire crime scene, replacing many sketches and photographs.

Through-the-Wall Radar The emergence of new radar technology that uses radio waves to detect movement through walls caused quite a stir when it was brought to public attention several months ago.

The controversy is understandable, as concern over privacy rights continues to rise, and the technology does pose some difficult questions relative to the Fourth Amendment. Body-Worn Cameras The national call for officers to wear cameras has been heard loud and clear by many police agencies.

Recently, the city of Detroit announced that all police officers would soon be outfitted with body cameras, and numerous others agencies have done the same.

  1. Messenger Social media has revolutionised how we communicate.
  2. Social media is here to stay, and we need to think outside the box if we wish to understand this phenomenon, capitalise on its benefits, and prevent or minimise its negative effects in relation to crime and the criminal justice system.
  3. Moriarty 2005 and Pattavina 2004 provide explorations on a range of technologies used by police, courts, and corrections.
  4. This text would be appropriate for law enforcement courses at all levels. The digital transformation of legal persuasion and judgment.
  5. In particular, they consider how the implementation of visual media influences the presentation of evidence and the value of virtual courts and telecommunications to engender the legal process using actual trials as case examples.

Though some members of the law enforcement community have raised concerns over the use of the cameras, they can actually provide a helpful resource to police departments and protect officers from an increasing abundance of false claims of inappropriate behavior or abuse. Beyond that, departments can use the footage to train and practice crisis scenarios, reviewing successful arrests and discovering areas for improvement. Community members and law enforcement officers alike can benefit from police cameras seeing more frequent use.

How Technology is Changing Law Enforcement

Predictive Analytics Criminal elements may have gained a powerful tool in the Internet, but so have law enforcement agencies, with more data available than ever before.

Using software dedicated to providing insight into criminal patterns and all legally warranted personal informationanalysts are able to recognize connections between various activities and cases, even potentially predict where the next threat will emerge. These systems draw from a number of databases simultaneously, which helps law enforcement analyze information coming from mobile telephone service providers, banks, credit card companies, and many other public forms of data.

Once all of the relevant information is gathered, new tools like these allow agencies to share their findings with others around the nation.

  1. The adoption and implementation of technology also directly shapes the policies and practices of the justice system.
  2. Victimisation on social media platforms is not uncommon. How Technology is Changing Law Enforcement The latest high-tech innovations offer benefits and challenges for crime fighters.
  3. Body-Worn Cameras The national call for officers to wear cameras has been heard loud and clear by many police agencies.