Inthe modern world, the continued emerging technology is providinggreat benefits in the law enforcement field. Indeed, technology istransforming policing in a significant way. The emerging technologyis playing an important role in the daily work of police officers.The advanced technology allows the police officers to carry out theirdaily duties with ease. This is because the technology equips themwith investigative and enforcement devices that makes them to beeffective, as well as informed. It also equip them with investigativeand enforcement tools making them to be more effective and informed.Nevertheless, advanced technology causes various crimes and offencesthat affect consumers, business people, companies, and the society.Therefore, advanced technology has both positive and negativeconsequences in the law enforcement.
Oneof the major advantages of emerging technology in the law enforcementis its support in crime investigation, record management, informationsharing, and dispatch. According to LEMAS survey report in 2007,police departments use computer for crime mapping and crime analysis.For instance, in the last few decades, law enforcement agencies arenow using automated identification system (AFIS) and infieldcomputers such as digital laptops, computers, and terminals (Bush,2013). Further, through interagency information sharing technology,the police track information such as vehicle records,call-for-services, interagency information sharing, driving records,warrants, protection orders, and criminal history records. Inaddition, the police officers uses computer for easy transmissionhence, it is quick to identify, check background of a dubious figure,and check the legal status of an individual. As a result, theinvestigation and law enforcement is more efficient, effective, andaccurate.
Secondly,advanced technology is important in law enforcement and especially inthe street patrol. Nowadays, most police departments are configuringpatrol devices and cars with digital video cameras, navigationsystems, laptops, automated licence plate reader, sirens, andmulti-band radios RADAR (Bush, 2013). Similarly, police officersequip themselves with various technologies such as a less-lethalweapon, Smartphone, body-worn video camera, baton, ammunition, andother items while conducting their duties. This allows the policeofficers to become more effective and have timely submission ofsignificant data. Furthermore, advanced technology gives policeofficers a greater visibility to view the entire community.
Theemerging technology has many benefits to the prosecution in acriminal case. For instance, Matt Danielson, a Topeka police officeruses a motorbike loaded with the modern technology ranging fromupgraded radio system to LED lights. In addition, he wears policeuniform fitted with bulletproof vest, head-mounted camera, and aTaser fitted on his hip. According to David (2011), emergingtechnology in law enforcement ranges from license plate readers, tohead mounted cameras, to tracking systems. Through thesetechnologies, it is easy for a police officer to a stolen good.Further, David (2011) urges that it is easy to file police reports.During prosecution, the officers are easy to retrieve evidence fromthe previous video. This way, the merging technology is beneficial tothe prosecution in a criminal case.
Onthe other hand, advanced technology is detrimental to law enforcementforces. Criminals also use technology to carry out their offences.Some of crimes facilitated through technology include fraud, identitytheft, and extortion, among others. David (2011), states organisedcrimes are rapidly increasing as they commonly target variousbusinesses and individuals through on-line storage and e-commerce.For instance, in 2008, terrorist invaded Mumbai, India. They armedthemselves with explosives, AK-47s, and hand grenades. They usedcommunication technology such as Smartphone, night-vision goggles,and satellite imagery to locate and commit the crime. Besides, theycreated operations centre where they monitored social media, listenedto global news broadcasts, and read online reports. Moreover, theywould use public videos and social network to kill more people. Theyused search engines to identify hostages hence, decide whom to liveand who to die based on their backgrounds.
Inaddition, criminals use the internet to spread malicious programs,viruses, malwares, and spam emails. On the other hand, hackers useWorld Wide Web to either traffic or unknowingly redirect internetusers to particular sites. Sadly, some internet criminals steal somecritical information such as financial information and use them fortheir own benefits. According to (Bush, 2013), criminals are misusingtechnology to commit crimes. For instance, they are using robots aselement of their operations. For example, in Latin America, the drugtraffickers are using robotic submarines to transport cocaine toUnited States. Besides, robots are also used to carry explosives. In2011, the FBI arrested terrorist in Boston who were planning toattack Capitol and US pentagon buildings by use of remote-controlledrobotic aircraft (Bush, 2013).
Basedon the above arguments, it is evident that the emerging technologyhas both positive and negative impact in law enforcement. Although itimproves efficiency of the officers, criminals also uses technologyto carry out crime activities. Nevertheless, the positive impact oftechnology outweighs the negative impact of technology in the lawenforcement. Although it is apparent that criminals use technologynegatively, the law enforcers should use it track criminals andhinder criminal activities.
DavidJ., R. (2011). Police Chief Magazine – View Article. RetrievedJanuary 3, 2015, fromhttp://www.policechiefmagazine.org/magazine/index.cfm?fuseaction=display_arch&article_id=2295&issue_id=12011
Bush,A. (2013). Technology continues to evolve in law enforcement.Retrieved January 3, 2015, fromhttp://cjonline.com/news/2013-07-04/technology-continues-evolve-law-enforcement