Essays Computers In Law Enforcement

Technology And Law Enforcement Essay

With advances in technology we see new and scary ways criminals commit crimes. With the introduction of cell phones and scanners years ago, criminals could listen to police radio traffic and see where and how we police were responding. No need for "look outs", technology became the look out. Now in the computer age we see crimes from identity theft and hacking into computers to steal personal and corporate confidential information to cyber stalking and sexual predating to cell phone cloning. Criminals have a whole new playground and the playground as technology advances. But technology is not just for criminals. Law enforcement agencies are using technology to make police work more effective and efficient. Also police and communities are also using technology to make their communities safer.

Technology and the Individual Police OfficerThe future of policing from the perspective of individual police officers is understanding how the new technology works for the individual law enforcer. There are many new technologies that are being invented and implemented in law enforcement agencies across the country. The main goal for each new technology is to improve police work.

In a town in Mississippi, the local police agency received 24 refurbished computers from the Aurora, Colorado police department. The police chief in Mississippi was excited because these computers will be put into the squad cars of each officer. This new technology for this small town in Mississippi is making the law enforcement faster and more effective. The officers can now look through the databases in their squad cars. The officers do not need to call dispatch and wait for them to respond. The officer must then ask the dispatcher to look up the item or items that the officer needs to proceed with the situation. The new computers will also make writing the reports more clear and spelling is correct. Police Chief Lionel Cothern (2007) said, "I don't know what we would do without computers (Gulflive, 2007, para. 7)."New technology is ever present even if a new technology introduced to one law enforcement agency is new in the market or has been out for a while, if it helps the law enforcement community, it is an improvement.

Wireless technology is a fast growing technology that is helping the individual police officers as well as the agencies themselves. In San Francisco, the transit police officers have been given a wireless live video feed. The Police officers are now able to see through live video feed what is going on in approx. 39 stations and 100 miles of track (San Francisco city website, 2007). Commander Gomes said, "This really is the next wave in police work" (San Francisco city website, 2007). He also said, "Wireless technology...

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The Role of Computers in the Criminal Justice Field

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Computers take part in a big role in the Criminal Justice Field. So far computers have allowed us to make it accessible for witnesses to go through and look for a suspect's picture on the screen. Computers have enabled us to be able to do DNA testing. Which now only takes the labs a short time to process, and finding criminals from cases 15+ years ago can now be charged for their actions.

There are laptop computers in police vehicles; therefore, police officers can look up information right then and there instead of having to wait until they get back to the station. Some cars even have the wireless Internet connection that goes through satellite which allows them to do even greater things.

Computers have also allowed the use of fingerprinting to expand. Agencies can now take someone’s fingerprints and send them through the computer and find out if they are linked to any other cases going on at the time, or any other cases in the past.

Also, Criminal Investigators can determine how a fire started by using computer analysis devices. Whether or not an accelerant was used in a fire such as: gasoline, kerosene, lighter fluid, or if the fire just accidentally happened.

Computers are used at traffic stops. The officer can find the vehicle identification number (VIN) and calls the number in to the secretary and the secretary lets the responding officer know whether or not the vehicle belongs to the driver of the car, to make sure the vehicle isn’t stolen. If the car is stolen the officer car arrest the person right then.

The use of computers by officers of the law allows lists of prior criminals to be kept on file. These files can be viewed at the push of a button. No longer do police officers have to go to the filing cabinet to find the needed information on a criminal. Also list can be kept of all citizens with prior tickets, misdemeanors and felonies.

This can make the process of narrowing down suspects much easier. Databases of citizens’ personal information can also be found. Therefore a person could be found easily when needed for questioning.

Computers are also being used to create simulations. For instance right here on campus is something called range 2000.

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Criminal Justice         Computers         Field         Wireless Internet         Dna Testing         Laptop Computers         Police Officers         Secretary         Sure        




Range 2000 consists of different scenarios that are created for future police officials to act out. You can end the scenario with no harm or you may have to use force in order to end the situation. A person controls the outcome of the scenario.

In California they have created scenarios that deal with terrorist attacks in Detroit, Michigan. It pulls up maps on the fastest and safest way to reach the attack. Also, the use the National Weather Services satellite to find out the wind speed and the direction the wind is blowing. This will give the officers an estimated time on how far the toxic fumes could travel in a given amount of time. (Detroit Free Press)

In conclusion, I don’t believe that Criminal Justice Agencies could be so efficient if it weren’t for the use of computers. In today’s world everything happens in a split second. Agencies don’t have time to wait around and predict what could happen.

They need to know what the worst-case senior is going to be and work from that. This way nothing becomes of a shock to them.


REFERENCES

Wendland, Mike If terror hits, computers will be on rescue front line
[Online]. Available: http://www.freep.com/money/tech/mwend3_20020903.html[2002. September 3].

U.S. Department of Energy Human Genome Program.
[Online]. Available: http://www.ornl.gov/hgmis/graphics/slides/scidnastrand.html

LawManLab.com [Online]. Available:
http://lawmanlab.com/cyanoacrylate.htm?source=goto




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