Policing in the US, like in many other countries, has gone through revolutionary transformations, over the past 30 to 40 years. The policing activities and the present day’s sophistication do not resemble that of the 1970s (Walker, 2001). During the 1970s, police performed at their best, by responding to calls in a speedy manner and investigating crimes, but the police of the 21st century have been widening the scope of their work. The enlarged scope of work covers working with their communities, in solving criminal situations, in preventing the commission of crime and in reducing the levels of crime. Technology has played a very significant role in facilitating the work of the police, as well as increasing the safety of the society. This paper will review four technologies used by the police, in demonstrating their effects on policing and the safety of the society.
Discussion of the technologies
License plate readers
License plate readers are used by about 75 percent of responding policing agencies in the US to read the license plates of criminals and those of stolen vehicles (Police Executive Research Forum, 2012). These devises can employ cameras mounted on vehicles and the software that records the coverage of the camera, scan tagging parked or passing vehicles, After scan tagging the vehicle, the system alerts the police checking it, whether the given car has been reported as stolen, whether it has been reported for other violations and gives information on other databases that have reports of the given car. The value of the device is that it gives the police, information related to the car, which may be relevant to policing (Maguire & Uchida, 2000). For example, in the case of a car reported as involved in a traffic violation, the reporting officer only needs to update the information on the database, and then any LPR that recognizes the number reports to the particular police.
The report allows for the arrest of the driver of the car, and where the case is relevant, the police will report the car to other policing agents. The use of the LPR systems has helped the police to avoid dangerous users of cars reported as used at areas of crime. Furthermore, the use of the gadget allows for regional policing in an instant, which prevents the escape of suspects from the regions where they have committed crimes (Walker, 2001). Through the working of these devises, many stolen cars have been recovered, and criminals have been arrested, which works to the advantage of the members of the public. The case shows that these gadgets have been improving the work of the police, as well as the safety of citizens.
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