Today, the technology used by police forces in different jurisdictions often varies in terms of age and sophistication. Strong reasons exist for improving police tech to ensure that law enforcement agencies remain current. Just consider a few of these rationales:
One: Maintaining Efficiency
Improved technology enhances the efficiency of many police forces. From high speed automated dispatch centers to larger, more powerful databases, numerous police departments have benefited from advances in computers in recent years.
Just like many private businesses, law enforcement agencies receive frequent communications. Computers and well-designed databases can help improve the efficiency of daily operations and help prevent the misfiling of critical information. These processes enable police agencies to work more efficiently.
Two: Safeguarding Officers
Enhanced technologies today enable better body armor protection for officers and enhanced weapons. Sadly, ongoing improvements must keep occurring in this field, since many criminals also use more powerful weaponry today than during former generations.
One recent innovation designed to protect officers and also prevent police abuse involves the use of officer body cameras. A growing number of jurisdictions plan to implement this technology.
Three: Improving Responsiveness
Upgraded technological capabilities allow police forces to respond much faster to public requests. For instance, today sophisticated computer programs assist urban police forces by permitting them to deploy more officers in high crime areas.
The improved ability to allocate resources may speed up response times. This benefits people in emergency situations.
Four: Enhancing Forensic Capabilities
Many police agencies have developed enhanced forensic capabilities by upgrading laboratory equipment and forensic diagnostic capabilities on a regular basis. The technology for investigating crime scenes has advanced significantly in recent years.
The analysis of DNA evidence offers a clear illustration of the improved technological capabilities of police agencies to investigate crime scenes. In the past, the unavailability of this technology likely contributed to many unsolved “cold” investigations, while today relying on modern DNA analysis can sometimes solve very dated cases.
Five: Promoting Public Safety
Periodically upgraded technologies also assist police agencies in performing their primary mission, promoting public safety by enforcing the law. This process has allowed citizens to rely less on their own personal resources to maintain order and instead to depend more upon law enforcement agencies.
Compare the “rough justice” that held sway in isolated Western communities in the United States during the Gold Rush, when vigilante justice often prevailed, with the widespread availability of police resources today to appreciate the importance of this issue. A well-equipped police force prevents the need for citizen action to enforce laws.
Police agencies periodically upgrade high tech equipment to keep pace with changes in society. This process remains vitally important in a rapidly changing world.