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Technology and Communication Paper

By:   •  July 9, 2012  •  Essay  •  1,455 Words (6 Pages)  •  995 Views

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Technology and Information

The people that are in law enforcement are in some ways supposed to be able to control crime, maintain the peace, along with many other duties that are given to them. Now, there is on occasion or more than one occasion where they will have to perform a criminal investigation that will pull them to the brink, they will have to control riots and other unruly people, and in due course put their life on the line. There are a lot of resources that are still unavailable to officers and that the load of the police officer has kept increasing since the 60's. It is proven that the resources the officers have are always out weighted by the workload that they are given (police-technology.net).

Law Enforcement and Technology

Now, when you take a more comprehensive look in the technology you would look as far back as the beginning of the century when the steps were created to have technology to improve law enforcement. When you look from the 20's to the 70's many historians call this the Professional Model Era. The reformers then were working to get rid of the negative political influences that were corrupting the government and then creating departments that were based on professionalism. The seals in this era helped the government create discipline, to centralize decision, and have equal enforcement in the laws. The National Institute of Justice has been assisting in the development of the new technology to make sure that the police are well equipped to do their job and to make sure it is safe and efficient.

Law enforcement is always looking for ways to improve on the technology that they already have in their system. Fingerprinting began in the 1900's, along with crime labs, and the two way radio in the police officers vehicle, which has had a great effect on responding to criminal activity. Even though since the 1900's they have made a great impact in crime control the technology has not been able to keep up with the criminal activity since the 60's. The Crime Commission was created in the 60's as a response to the increase in the criminal activity. Through commission funding by the federal government our 911 system was created. In recent times information technology has created newer technology. Examples include fingerprinting, crime mapping to catalog evidence for a better ability to solve crimes.

Law Enforcement Technology and the National Institute of Justice

Over many years of technology that has been created, it has been improved by a commercial marketplace. The commercial marketplace has been used in cars, computers, firearms, and radios. It has become that law enforcement is in greater need for technology then the public that are not yet available in the commercial marketplace. Examples include the technology for stopping cars while they are fleeing, detecting illegal imports concealed weapons and controlling people in an unmanageable group.

The "private sectors" are not eager to have special need law enforcement products. The reasoning is that it is expensive, and there is a big liability issue that come attached with; the developers are not protected from that liability if an officer gets injured using their product.

Computer and Community Policing

The Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, is also called the Omnibus Act that was created because of social turbulence. The crime rates were skyrocketing and drug abuse was rising, riots and disorders were a daily occurrence, and America's political leaders were being assassinated (police-tech.net).

The LEAA worked on computerizing the police department in the 1970's. There were many departments that were reluctant to use a computer system even into the 1980's for anything that was more than routine tasks. The blame had then been place on the lack of funding for the computer and equipment training. The increases in training on the devices lead to dependence on computers for law enforcement. In 1993 almost 95% of all the police departments were using computers for all of their needs. The more involved data shows that the departments were not just used for everyday tasks but for more refined areas like investigative purposes.

The computer age has brought a transition in law enforcement. The use of technology equipment and its' applications was a necessity to make policing more efficient; without technology law enforcement would have harder time providing a level of service and quality. Computer assisted dispatching, computers in patrol vehicles, automatic fingerprinting, and computerized reporting of offenses are examples of the effective use on technology in agencies (Nowicki 2010).

Liability Concerns

Local and State police handle about 95% of the nation's criminal activity. 570,000 law enforcement officers work in 17,000 law enforcement agencies and 90% of these agencies are run by 24 officers or less. The departments have become dependent on technology, and with this dependence come levels of liability concerns that are related to technology. The most concerns are in the lawsuits that are related to the product that is being used. One example is of peppery spray; and there are some responses to it having lethal affects. The other forms of technology are x-ray machines that have posed an invasion of privacy issue. A high false alarm rate is a metal detector that is detecting concealed weapons; but knifes and other stabbing weapons have a low detection rate. Future lawsuits can have an effect on how limited the technologies play a part.

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