Law enforcement technology: Machines that protect and serve

| July 31, 2014

Today’s technological advancements are showing no signs of losing momentum as we move deeper into the digital age — and this is especially true in the law enforcement space. Safety enhancements across the U.S. are evolving rapidly, revolutionizing the jobs of police officers and innovating public safety procedures. Some of the technology available today was, at one point, seemingly inconceivable, but police departments across the U.S. are getting their hands on tools capable of forever changing law enforcement. Here’s a preview of some of the ground-breaking technology coming to fruition across America’s police departments.

law enforcement

Advanced technologies assist police officers on the job. From Cliff.

Facial Recognition Software

Police officers have been using facial recognition software to analyze faces in surveillance video streams and compare them to thousands of known entries in the database. According to Digital Trends, the Chicago Police Department uses ‘NeoFace’ technology, which remotely accesses video shots from any of the city’s 24,000 closed-circuit television cameras to aid in the prosecution of felons.

The technology has already proven invaluable in combating Chicago’s crime. Pierre Martin, a convicted felon, was the first person to be arrested using the software, which combed through a database of 4.5 million mug shots after he was recognized in surveillance footage from Chicago Transit Authority cameras. The power of video surveillance is sure to be adopted by other police departments across the U.S., considering its proven ability to assist arrests.

Rapid DNA Index System

The Rapid DNA Index System has not yet been approved by the FBI for use in police departments, but researchers are now closing in on full integration. The system enables police departments to process a suspect’s DNA against a local database for matches – in under 2 hours. According to USA Today, it currently takes 2-3 weeks to process DNA, meaning this system has the potential to save invaluable time and resources across the US police force. It is a fully automated, tabletop system that takes mouth and blood samples and processes DNA in less than 85 minutes. The value of DNA in accurate and positive identification of suspects and solving crimes is unquestionably high, which is why it will surely have huge ramifications for the police force and is guaranteed to revolutionize the future of law enforcement.

GPS Dart System

With the GPS dart system, debuting across America, officers can shoot tracking darts onto suspects’ vehicles. Additionally, there’s a compressed air-launcher equipped with a laser pointer that allows officers the benefit of improved aim. The GPS dart contains a wireless transmitter and a tracking map so that police officers can surveil the vehicle, its speed and its whereabouts — instead of entering a dangerous high-speed pursuit that could unnecessarily endanger lives. According to LiveViewGPS, America is no stranger to high-speed chases, so technology like this could streamline police procedures on a long-term basis and massively improve public safety.

Robotic Cameras

Cameras now come complete with electric motors and special wheels that allow them to move freely and explore crime scenes. Wireless, robotic cameras are operated remotely, enabling officers to assess a crime seen even when there’s no clear line of sight. Eden Prairie Police Department’s emergency response team in Minnesota take robotic cameras with them every time they respond to a call. Sgt. Carter Staaf, a spokesperson for the team, was quoted as saying: ‘‘You never know where you are going to need it. It always comes in handy somewhere. If we have a warrant search and there are multiple levels in a home, we can throw it upstairs and get a set of eyes up there.’’ The range of innovative body-worn technology now being utilized by police officers can make an enormous difference when it comes to working on the front line.

These breakthrough technologies are only a taste of the technological advancements infiltrating police departments throughout America — and as progressive technologies continue to evolve, innovations that you didn’t think possible may just be on the cusp of creation.

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Category: Technology