Critical Issues

1 January 2017

In the 1900s when policing was created they had to face many issues to make sure that they handle lowering crime rates. The police departments would find ways on how to prevent and solve crimes with the use of technology. Only in recent years have many agencies found the use of information technologies significantly helpful. Some examples of these technology uses include fingerprinting databases, computerized crime mapping, and records management systems doing everything from inventorying property and cataloging evidence to calculating solvability factors.

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I will provide some detailed examples as well as my own opinion of each category of how technology is used in policing and how technology enhances from police organizations ability to function; Examples of less than lethal weapons and how less than lethal weapons affect policing; and examples of the dangers faced by police and how police organizations address these dangers. “Those were desperate times for policemen in a hostile country with unpaved streets and uneven sidewalks, sometimes miles from the police station, with little prospects of assistance in case of need….

It took nerve to be a policeman in those days” Chief Francis O’Neill of the Chicago Police Department in 1903. The first use of technology in policing was cars, radios, computers, and firearms. If it were not for the creation of technology in 1900s police departments would have a very hard time to stop all the crimes that were being created. So in 1960 the Crime Commission was established. Today in the 21st Century there are many new kinds of technology used in policing and one is being created for the “future cops” which decreases the dangerous high-speed chases with criminals is the StarChase System.

The StarChase system is a laser guided GPS tracking system that is launched from the front grill of the squad car and guided by a laser-light targeting system. Once the “sticky” transmitter attaches to the fleeing car, the police track the suspect via real-time feeds over a wireless network allowing the fleeing car to flee and wait until the car slows down and stops while the police track the car and speed to where it is located. Another technology being created is the Real-time video which is a wireless video-surveillance that helps police officers track down suspects before patrolmen even arrive on the scene.

These technologies enhance the way police organizations ability to function within the community to help lower crime rates and solve crimes. Technology is being used not only for police use but also for other departments that will help them solve a situation more quickly and faster. Computer use has also been a useful technology for police officers to locate the crimes and criminals. People do assume that police officers should work the way police officers did years ago only because they know they cannot escape the crime they committed.

Less than lethal weapons are a used force in controlling unruly persons, to stop fleeing vehicles, and to detect concealed weapons and contraband in nonintrusive ways. Examples of less than lethal weapons are gases and sprays, batons, electroshock weapons, explosive weapons, sticky foam, etc. Less than lethal weapons are being used, and it is growing in the police departments. These weapons are intended to be less likely to kill a living target than are conventional weapons.

They may also be used to channelize a battlefield or control the movement of civilian populations or limit civilian access to restricted areas. Many people believe that when police officer use less than lethal weapons against a civilian it is police misconduct, corruption, abuse of their power, or the ability of knowing the right proper use of handling a criminal situation. There were times when a police officer and a criminal were at a standoff, that police officers had to use any use of weapon to save the officers own life which caused the death of the civilian.

This type of misconduct resulted for police departments to use first a no lethal weapons only if the situation can be settled until it arrives to the point where the police officer has to use a lethal weapon to defend their own life. It is the citizen’s action that will cause the police officer to use such force and it is not the police officers fault why they tend to use such force. Police officers have a high risk job compared to many others. Police officers always face life threating dangers on their day-to-day jobs.

Some examples of what these brave police officers face during their patrolling are domestic situations, robberies, murders, homicides, assault, communicable diseases, and injuries during a car crash. I do not believe that police organizations tend to do much to address these dangers. They are aware that these incidents occur, but the only thing they do to help prevent this is many trainings and proper weapons available to use to protect the civilians and their own lives.

The police officer are expected to be combat-ready at all times, even with facing a continual sense of danger from an unknown enemy. A few officers in the United States have been killed off-duty, most commonly after intervening in robberies, or when on-duty police mistook them for gang members (Davis & Pinizzotto, 1996). All these officers can do to avoid such dangers is to be aware of their surroundings and the reputation of the community.

One of the dangers that I believe the police officers would face one day again is the community riot against the police department. Not only would this be dangerous to the police officers but also to the civilians who would be involved of the riot. I have explained in many details and in my own opinions with a little bit of history how technology is used in policing and how the technology enhances police organizations ability to function properly.

I also provided examples of the less than lethal weapons used by police departments and by the police officers and why they should or should not use less than lethal weapons against a civilian and describing how less than lethal weapons affect policing in today’s society. Technology and less than lethal weapons can be a wrong choice to some people, but it does help the way the police department controls the crimes and lowers the crimes in the community.

Many police officers do face many dangers in their day-to-day patrolling which can cause them to be in danger of their lives and others. I personally can understand why police officers use such force against the criminals that are in need of it when they resist the arrest or endangering the life of the police officers as well as the civilians surrounding that community.

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