Critical Issues Paper Essay
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This paper will discuss the technology used in policing and how technology enhances or detracts from police organizations’ ability to function. Then, I would like to discuss the examples of less-than-lethal weapons and how less-than-lethal weapons affect policing in today’s society In addition, example of dangers faced by police and how police organizations address these dangers. In the 1900s when policing was created they had to face many issues to make sure that they handle lowering crime rates.
Those were desperate times for policemen in a hostile country with unpaved streets and uneven sidewalks, sometimes miles from the police station, with little prospects of assistance in case of need.
It took nerve to be a policeman in those days. The first use of technology in policing was cars, radios, computers, and firearms. If it were not for the creation of technology in 1900s police departments would have a very hard time to stop all the crimes that were being created. So in 1960 the Crime Commission was established.
Today in the 21st Century there are many new kinds of technology used in policing and one is being created for the “future cops” which decreases the dangerous high-speed chases with criminals is the StarChase System. The StarChase system is a laser guided GPS tracking system that is launched from the front grill of the squad car and guided by a laser-light. The police departments would find ways on how to prevent and solve crimes with the use of technology. Only in recent years have many agencies found the use of information technologies significantly helpful.
Some examples of these technology uses include fingerprinting databases, computerized crime mapping, and records management systems doing everything from inventorying property and cataloging evidence to calculating solvability factors. Police Agencies in modern society are a part of the American fabric to serve and protect the American public. The United States currently have more than 15,000 police agencies, (Walker & Katz, 2002). Police Departments across the United States face similar critical issues policing.
All police officers face dangers in the job of policing the dangers can emanate from internal and external origins. Police officers have continued to evolve to serve communities by finding better less than lethal alternatives to weapons used. In addition, police departments have continued to keep up with modern technology to assist them with information storage and acquisition while in the field. Department of Homeland Security was also developed to assist Federal, State and Local law enforcement agencies with information sharing to prevent linkage blindness which was prevalent before the 9/11 attacks on the United States.
There has been a major push in several areas of policing to make policing more efficient with regards to information access and safer for the officers, suspects, and communities. Police officers place themselves in danger every day. Danger is an inherent condition and circumstance of the job of serving and protecting the public. Police officers are injured and some have been killed in the line of duty enforcing the law and defending the justice system.
The job of a police officer is to protect the life and safety of others, which means placing themselves at risk while performing their duties. Police training can lead to success of police officer preventing or limiting dangerous situations by anticipating and de-escalating the situations before they become elevated. There are additional dangers such as effects of stress. Law enforcement agencies use many different technology instruments to prevent and investigate criminal activity. These instruments assist officers to do their duties faster and more efficient than in the past.
Information technology instruments, advanced weapons technology instruments, and crime analysis technology instruments are used to assist law enforcement officers to provide serve to their communities. Information technology includes database and information instruments, computer- aided dispatch instruments, record management system instruments, and mobile computing instruments. Computerized relational databases instruments gather and store information on suspects and convicted criminals and are used for management purposes, such as tracking the number and types of arrest that officers make and the number of complaints against an officer.
An example of computerized relational databases are use by law enforcement are when the officer makes a traffic stop and runs the drivers information, such as name , date of birth , and driver license number , to determine if the driver has any warrants of arrest. Another example of computerized relational databases is the registration of sex offenders, sex offenders in most states have to give law enforcement agencies any change of address.
Computer-aided dispatch instruments offer faster and more effective methods of communicating with law enforcement officers than in the past . Computer-aided 911 and the 311 dispatch systems helps dispatchers and law enforcement officers to prioritize calls for service. It also enhances law enforcement officer’s safety by monitoring the officer’s status, it alerts dispatchers to officers who have not updated their field status. Records management system instruments are used to input and organize information from different types of reports in one easy to access format.