Society and Technology
When a law enforcement agency becomes stagnant, it ceases to be effective.
The effort to stay abreast of these advances in technology is a continuous effort. It Is the responsibly of the department trainers and leaders to ensure the officers are kept up to date. As society becomes more and more technologically advanced, so do the criminals. It would be impossible to fully describe all the technological advances available to counteract criminal and crime. Only two will be discussed in this paper.The Office of Law Enforcement Technology Centralization (OWLET) has developed a 3-D facial recognition program which Is designed to augment current airport security cameras enhancing law enforcements ability to apprehend terrorists. This company Is currently In the process of collecting private companies to develop and market the software.
The software, call Integrated Law Enforcement Face-Identification System (OLEFINS), uses two dimensional images from police mug shots and a profile image to create a three dimensional graphic.The finished images should make criminal investigation easier for police officers and eliminate much of the guess work In identification. Currently this program Is still In the development stage and It may be some time In the mean time, the developers at OWLET seeking a private company or firm which would be willing to improve the existing software and acquire a license. Arise Erasers, chief scientist of the OLEFINS project, recently stated that he and his associates wish to “get it out of the door as soon as we can. ” Erasers is realistic and explained that the applications must be focused on the needs of law enforcement.Any firm or company wishing to market the software must understand and agree to this desire. Many identification software programs currently exist and have been in use by law enforcement agencies for many years.
For example, a driver’s license photograph can be used by police officers to identify and locate a potential suspect. These photographs are two dimensional and require the officer to view two separate images, a front and side view. This is a tedious and time consuming method. Depending on the size of the database, thousands of photos would have to be compared.In addition, because security cameras are able to capture images from any angle, a positive identification from two separate two dimensional images would be difficult and unreliable. Dry Erasers and the other researchers at OWLET wish to simplify this effort, making it easier for officers make identifications while simultaneously reducing the time spent searching existing databases. Three dimensional images would allow police officers to match suspect photographs or images taken from any angle.
The software would then compare them with an existing database to create an image of the suspect from the same angle.The images would be compared with the database and any possible matches would be clearly seen. This will allow for quicker recessing of the data and reduce the margin for error. Several companies are current considering this product. Another technology has been recently developed to assist law enforcement officers in the effort to locate and apprehend criminals. This technology requires the use off police helicopter. Helicopter officers usually have to have a map book within reach then visually compare it with the local terrain (streets) in order to achieve the proper orientation.
This takes time and often hinders the effort to locate and assist in the capture of fleeing suspects. Mark Gassy, president of Rare Computers located in Oxnard California, has developed an answer to this dilemma. Gassy has developed a new computer mapping tool which would virtually eliminate the trial and error guess work of helicopter navigation. The mapping tool would increase accuracy, safety and reduce the response time dramatically. It also provides vital emergency information to the pilot. SST Derek Dummied of the SST.Louis County Police Helicopter Unit believes this product is a major enhancement and beneficial to the unit.
He stated “In the past, we loud waste two minutes trying to figure out where we are and where we need to go. ” He added that the program “improves a police helicopters response time by 40 percent. ” This mapping program enables a pilot or his observer to get instant directions by simply entering address into the interface. In addition to the location, an estimated time of arrival is calculated. It allows the crews to quickly locate and identify streets, This allows pursuits to be better controlled and safer.Using both his pilot and computer engineering skills, Gassy developed this yester in 1994. He spent a year flying with Los Angels County Sheriffs Office and experienced the frustration and inaccuracy of map book navigation.
“This system allows them to do the police work without having to do all the navigating,” Gassy said. “Instead of being the last one to the scene, they are the first. ” The preceding examples are only two of a multitude of advanced technologies which are available to law enforcement. It is important that police agencies are aware of these advancements and stay abreast of the technologies involved.They just consider the need and application of these enhancements and well as consider the practical application for their perspective department.