Police departments across the United States have to deal with a plethora of new problems with the advent of new technology. And technology, as we all know, is progressing with breakneck speed in today’s age. Driver’s license scanners makes life easier for every police force.
Despite all efforts to keep up with the times, there are avenues in which police departments have lagged. The cybercrime department, which has only recently been added to most police precincts across America, has fallen short on several counts like data protection and tracking the digital footprint of criminals.
However, every police precinct is now attempting to equip its police officers with certain high-tech gadgets to ensure the efficiency and smooth functioning of the justice system. You might be familiar with some of these, but we bet there are some items on this list that you have probably never heard of before.
6 High Tech Items that Every Police Department Needs
1. Handheld Driver’s License Scanners
Ensuring the mobility of police officers is something that the technical experts have been working on for ages. This has led to the invention of some of the best driver’s license scanners out on the market.
One of the best things about handheld ID scanners is that they are efficient, quick, require a minimal amount of charging, and are durable enough to be used in the field. Needless to say, these are wireless and can function through a mobile internet connection.
Driver’s license scanners were previously static devices that were connected to the police car. But that meant that the officer had to go to and fro from the vehicles to his police car constantly. This is not ideal since it reduced his situational awareness by a great deal.
2. Body cams
Body cams help maintain accountability. There is no need for a confusing “He said, she said” verbal duet in court when there is videographic evidence right from the scene.
More importantly, body cams not only deliver videographic proof from the scene itself but the direct perspective of the police officer. There’s no room for lies or fabricated half-truths when it comes to the body cams.
Police departments ought to invest in body cams that can also capture the audio as perfectly as possible. Also, accountability is not the only reason the police need body cams. These are also crucial during dangerous missions where the officer has to go undercover or venture into unfamiliar areas.
3. In-car Cameras
You might be wondering why in-car cameras are needed when CCTV cameras are already present on the streets. There are two reasons for this. First, in-car cameras capture footage much more clearly than CCTV cameras. It is much easier to perform a facial match with in-car camera footage, especially during nighttime.
Second, even though the US does have millions of CCTV cameras in action, there are innumerable streets that don’t have this vigilance. Also, CCTV cameras have several blind spots that criminals can easily exploit.
However, in-car cameras also have a function that doesn’t have anything to do with the policing process as such. They ensure the protection of the police cars themselves against vandalism since they can capture the vandal’s face perfectly.
Want to know one of the best (or rather worst) ways to decrease situational awareness? Forcing police officers to file their reports immediately while they are still on-site.
While this may seem bizarre, police officers were previously supplied with laptops that were attached to the car, which proved to be a little distracting.
Later, police departments decided to supply their officers with tablets that were not only mobile but also rugged enough (like driver’s license scanners) to be carried out in the field. These tablets also allowed officers to access information much more quickly.
5. Digital Evidence Management System (DEMS)
Now, this one you might not have heard of before. Nowadays, a bulk of digital evidence is collected every day. It ranges from video or audio recordings of interviews, CCTV footage, crime scene photos, etc.
No, it’s not enough to store these crucial pieces of evidence on any random PC or laptop. Using DEMS, we can trace the digital path of any particular file.So, it ensures that no unauthorized party can access or download these materials. In addition, the DEM must follow all state and federal rules relating to digital evidence.
6. Rapid Information Sharing Platforms
Along with DEMS, you must also look into investing in a rapid information-sharing platform. What is the use of an information-sharing platform? Various departments of the police or police departments of various states or even the 911 operators often possess information that the other departments don’t.
This is exactly what leads to an information gap even though the said information is already present in the system. Rapid information sharing platforms ensure that crucial information is available to all those who need it. Libraries of information on past cases can be accessed with a single mouse click, avoiding the need to search through dozens of old files.
These are some of the key tech gadgets that all police precincts across the US should invest in. Some of these (for example, driver’s license scanners and body cams) don’t need any training, whereas some (for example, DEMS) require extensive training.