Technology has made a mark on every part of our society, including police work. While artificial intelligence and software programs can never replace human intuition and footwork, it doesn’t mean they can’t give a helping hand to make the job easier. Here are five technology products that are making a big impact on police work.
- Vehicle Pursuit Darts
When police officers pursue a suspect who is fleeing, it is common to end in a crash. These cause injuries and deaths. It is hard to avoid pursuits because it will lead to suspects getting away. To help reduce the risks involved with pursuit, some police officers are using vehicle pursuit darts. These small foam darts are shot at a vehicle and stick to them, letting officers tag and track it. That way, the suspects don’t get away, officers don’t have to engage in risky behavior themselves, and the public isn’t put into danger.
- Records Management
One of the most time-consuming parts of police work is the paper work. There are a lot of forms to fill out for different types of calls. Having a great record management software program makes all the difference in keeping a database. Since it is a web-based police software system, this gives officers additional benefits, such as:
- Records are accessible from any location on a device
- Multiple precincts can sync for a larger area of information
- Officers can quickly access information from a database for warrants, missing vehicles, and other important information
This way, officers can do forms while they are on break or have down time. Since compliance has specific requirements for documentation, software should validate the reports as the information is entered. These checks save time by reducing the need to redo paperwork to meet departmental standards or incident based reporting standards.
- Computer Aided Dispatch
Police work starts when a person calls 911. When a dispatcher picks up the call and sends out the call for help, they rely on software that is fast and efficient. The law enforcement software that makes a big difference allows dispatchers to send information to an officer’s cellphone or tablet to keep them updated on the progress of the call as they are enroute. The more information that an officer has before arriving at the scene, the better. They can be prepared for an emergency and be aware of any problems they may walk in on when they arrive at the location of the call.
The flipside of the software is that officers also update dispatch on the progress they have made at the scene of an emergency. Keeping all parties informed helps everyone stay safer and get help when they need it. The dispatchers are always aware of the officer’s location, thanks to GPS tracking, and can update their records with the results of a call. Officer’s can do all of this from their phones or tablets too, taking less time and leaving phone lines free for other emergency calls.
- Gunshot Detection
Another up-and-coming technology is gunshot detection. While this has only been tried out in big cities, this software can help officers locate where a gunshot has been fired, faster. Instead of relying on someone calling in to report an incident, the software uses sound waves, mapping, and electronic sensors. How this information is used will vary, but departments can use it to fill in gaps. When there are crimes not called in or unreported shots, officers can get more information from this technology helper.
- DNA Databases
An unexpected form of police work technology has come in DNA databases. While using DNA isn’t new to detectives, it is a changing field with all the genetic tests people are doing. This became well known when the Golden State Killer was caught using his DNA and that of a relative who submitted a sample of his DNA for heritage testing. There are a lot of gray areas on uses and how much good this technology can have on policework and solving murders, both old and new.