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The Future of Policing Essay

GPS tracking could be implemented into each agency. In our society, overcrowding in the prison system is an enormous issue. Prisoners are being released into our communities and may even be involved in another crime. GPS tracking is essential to prisoners being released in our community. Such prisoners for instance, child molesters and drug traffickers would be monitored and track everywhere they go. If a child molester approaches a school within a certain radius than the GPS alarm would activate at the local police station and officers could pin point where to apprehend him/her for violating their parole. Drug traffickers could have a GPS monitoring system placed on themselves and on the vehicle. This GPS system would have to be activated nationwide due to suspects moving into another county or state. Of course there is a downfall of the GPS tracking system. Prisoners when released are issued a GPS ankle bracelet similar to a house arrest bracelet can cut the bracelet off when they are not physically being watched. When parolees’ deactivate the bracelet, officers respond and find the bracelet cut and the parolee is nowhere to be found. Of course the only way of capturing the parolee is if he/she commits another crime or is pulled over for a routine traffic stop. Now the U.S. Supreme Court for the first time limited police power to track people using GPS devices, ruling in a case that will shape the privacy rights Americans should expect from a new generation of wireless electronics.

Today’s decision addresses the unprecedented power that technology is giving police to peer into Americans’ day-to-day activities attaching a GPS device to a vehicle and then using the device to monitor the vehicle’s movements constitutes a search under the Fourth Amendment (United States v. Jones, 10-1259). Aerial surveillance from manned aircraft has been around for decades. Of course, the manned aircraft is and to purchase, expensive and hard to maintain. The unmanned drones are less expensive and easy to maintain which allows the military to use drones to gain intelligence and aerial view on enemy locations. Since drones were effective in the military the border patrol has been utilizing drones and aerial surveillance to apprehend immigrants and drug smuggling across our borders. There are hundreds of different types of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), as drones are formally known. They can be as large as commercial aircraft or as small as hummingbirds, and include human remotely guided aircraft as well as autonomous, self-guided vehicles (Stephen Dean, Jan 11, 2010).

Law enforcement agencies want to utilize the drones to help identify suspects during a crime. This would help agencies identify the suspect’s before the police arrive and the suspects flee. Drones could also save lives when a hostage citation is at stake or a bomb threat is made. The drones have the opportunity to explore and investigate the area of threat without costing a human life. Drones could also be utilized in issuing police tickets. Just like the video surveillance cameras that are on the light poles in larger cities. The ticket could be mailed to the address via license plate number ran through the Department of Motor Vehicles. As of today law enforcement agencies are on hold due to the Fourth Amendment rights in ways that manned flights do not. FAA has not recommended the drones to be utilized due to the drones using the air space. If the United States used autonomous vehicles there would be fewer accidents, as human error would be nullified (Joseph Christiana, Mar 2, 2007). It would be accessible to anyone. Children, senior citizens, visually-impaired or other impaired citizens, intoxicated or simply fatigued drivers would all be able to transport themselves safely without any unnecessary hazards. Redundant drivers would be eliminated.

The car can drive to wherever it is required; there would no longer be the need for a driver to perform the specific chore of transporting another individual. This would allow the passenger to be at ease from the tasks of driving and navigation. Parking scarcity would also be resolved, as the car could drop off passengers, park far away and then return to pick them up whenever it is required. There would be a reduction need for road signage, as the car would receive information electronically through signals. There would also be a better management of traffic flow, which would be monitored over a controlled system. There would be fewer cars on the road, as families would only need one car to suit the needs of every member. This would sequentially cut down on carbon dioxide emissions, thus being more environmentally friendly. Though numerous are its gains, autonomous cars present a great deal of disadvantages as well. Firstly, car enthusiasts would most certainly disagree to give up their own vehicle and not being able to drive their own vehicle.

Driving a car means much more than reaching a simple destination, as it seems to be reduced to when adopting autonomous cars (Joseph Christiana, Mar 2, 2007). It would be an economic disaster, if autonomous cars were implemented everywhere. Job losses would be monumental, as there would no longer be a need for professional drivers, such as cab and lorry drivers. To add to this, autonomous cars would be much more expensive to buy, not to mention setting up electronic sensors on every accessible road or highway. Autonomous vehicles rely heavily on GPS satellites. If a signal were to be blocked, this would affect the cars functionality. Finally, autonomous vehicles are still undergoing research and can’t be trusted to operate without error, until further advances are made. Until then, they should be kept as ideal prospect for the future, which should still be visualized with caution. From this, one may conclude that though autonomous vehicles may hold great importance in terms of practically and ecologically, they are not without economic and social consequences (Jimmy Sun, Mar 2, 2007).


Stephen Dean, “Police line up to use drones on patrol after Houston secret test,” Houston Examiner, Jan. 11, 2010

Law Enforcement Response to Concerns Regarding RFID Technology CS199r Briefing Document, Joseph Christiana, Nicholas Cirella, Brian Lee, Jimmy Sun, and Geoffrey Werner-Allen March 2, 2007

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