Technology now plays a huge role in holding people accountable for their actions. This includes police officers as well as criminals, as evidenced by the increasing use of body cameras. Even Wall Street is affected by new technology that utilizes advanced algorithms to detect potential insider trading. Take a look at four new technologies used by law enforcement that can save time, money, and most importantly, lives.
This technology isn’t as new as public awareness of it is. Stingray is a surveillance system used by law enforcement to listen in on cell phone conversations. It works by creating a virtual cell phone tower, capable of sending and receiving signals. The fake tower diverts the call away from the user’s cell phone company’s actual tower. In this way, cell phones are tricked into giving the identities of the cell phone users, as well as their locations. Originally developed for detecting terrorist cells, local law enforcement agencies often borrow the gear from federal agencies during investigations.
Full Spectrum Fingerprint Technology
Full spectrum fingerprinting eliminates the need for dusting with chemicals or powders before sending the prints to a lab. This saves a lot of time and expense. There are also both stationary and mobile versions of this technology, which allow investigators to scan for fingerprints right at the crime scene. Because a mobile unit costs about $40,000, they are used primarily for violent offenses in which public safety is an issue and time is of the essence in capturing the criminal.
SmartWater is an invisible, yet traceable, liquid technology forensic marking and tracking system. It’s one of the newest technologies developed to reduce property theft as well as identify and recover stolen property. It can also identify the thieves. Property is sprayed with an invisible liquid that becomes visible beneath a scanning device, and can then be tracked at a later time.
The Domain Awareness System
Jointly developed by Microsoft and the New York Police Department, the Domain Awareness System may become standard IT equipment and software for police precincts nationwide. Known as the dashboard, it gives officers access to arrest records, 911 calls, more than 3,000 security cameras, portable radiation detectors and license plate readers. Development of this customized system cost between $30 million and $40 million dollars and is still used primarily for counterterrorism. While initial investment in technology is expensive, you just can’t put a price on public safety.
Advanced technology is a helpful tool for more advanced criminals, but it also gives law enforcement better resources and new tactics for solving crimes and protecting people. If used correctly, higher technology has the potential to drastically improve investigations and lower crime rates. Only time will tell how successful these technologies prove to be, but it is projected that new technology can only help in the fight against crime. The information for this article was provided by professionals who offer criminology degrees online for those who are interested in the criminal justice system.
By Dixie Somers