As technology continues to develop almost daily, law enforcement agencies are looking for ways to keep up with it. The agencies are investing money into the best and latest technologies in order to better protect and serve their officers and people in their communities. Of course, battling criminal activity has its own pros and cons. It is important for both the community and police officer to be aware of the technology that is being used and their rights. In this article, you will be able to see the most common advantages, as well as the disadvantages when it comes to implementing technology into law enforcement.
The Pros of Tech in Law Enforcement
1. An additional layer of protection for police officers and the community
Body cameras have been a perfect addition for most law enforcement agencies across the globe. While there are some disadvantages of this technology that police officers need to be aware of, the cameras did already prove to be useful in various cases. This tech helped the public see and understand how police officers respond to certain threats. Another perk that policemen use every day is GPS systems. They allow them to monitor and track which can be quite helpful if a policeman is in a situation where she or he cannot be reached or is unable to call for help.
2. Help with identifying and finding criminals
Facial recognition algorithms are giving policemen a new tool for identifying suspects in criminal cases. According to the experts from William Ives Consulting, these algorithms can be used in two ways. Any photo, video, or sketch can be compared to the database of known criminals. DMV’s database can be used in the same way.
All in all, technology in law enforcement did create a lot of benefits that are allowing different departments to solve crimes, identify criminal suspects, and track the suspects down. However, there are some disadvantages of implementing technology within the law enforcement and it is important to be aware of the cons
The Cons of Tech in Law Enforcement
Basically, everything has a downside to it, and here are some cons of technology in law enforcement agencies:
1. More distractions for police officers
You might have noticed that in a police car there might be some technology in the seat next to them, or perhaps at the backseat. Within almost every car, there is a laptop that has a built-in dispatch system. While this is helpful in most situations when a call comes through the laptop, the police officer might be driving and the calls might distract them. Hence, there is a higher possibility of an accident happening.
2. Privacy concern for citizens and police officers
Another con that might not be considered when implementing tech into the workforce is exposure. Body cams do offer a wide range of benefits, such as honesty and accountability, but they can also be seen as a threat. One concern that got attention is that the personal privacy invasion of body cams. In some states, governments implemented for a 24/7 camera roll, which can be quite concerning for the officers. Police officers will still talk to their family or friends, take lunch breaks, talk to their colleagues, and go to the bathroom. Having a camera on at all times could document all personal conversations and actions which can be quite tiresome for officers.
As you can see, there are various pros and cons in implementing technology into law enforcement agencies. However, there are more benefits to tech than there are disadvantages. Technology can make the police officers and the people within their community safer.