Technology Innovations in Policing

By: Absolute Team | 2/24/2012

The Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) recently published a discussion about how innovations in technology are transforming policing. The publication discusses the challenges facing police chiefs in choosing which technologies to adopt

When considering new technology adoption, be it license plate readers or social media, police chiefs must balance the needs of the department, budget considerations, the effectiveness of the technology in preventing or solving crime as well as potential privacy or civil rights implications. For example, while 80% of the 100 police chiefs and other leaders in the field surveyed by PERF expect to increase the practice of placing GPS devices on crime suspects’ vehicles, the recent US vs Jones ruling may make this technology obsolete as a violation of 4th Amendment rights.

Technologies discussed in the report include:

  • predictive policing
  • in-car video recording
  • wireless video streaming
  • license plate readers
  • GPS to track suspects
  • GPS to track police vehicles
  • social media (both as means to disseminate and receive information)
  • gunshot detection systems

We recently discussed how police are needed as a part of the social media community; this report shows some promising inroads into basic adoption of social media. 83% of responding agencies said they use social media to share information with the public, and 70% said they use social media to receive information from the public. While this is true, our own experience has shown that there is a vast difference from automating the flow of information to the public and actually taking the time to cultivate online communities. The report highlights many fantastic case studies into social media and how it can be leveraged to create new crime prevention campaigns or to put crime scene videos online while the scene is still active.

We are currently creating a series of case studies for CrimeCatchers highlighting how law enforcement agencies are using social media. If you would like to share how your police department has leveraged social media in an innovative way, we'd love to hear from you.

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