Will SWAT technology eventually trump tactics?
BearCats, pole cameras, robots and thermal imagers are just a few of the technological advances that help SWAT teams accomplish their missions
Technological advances are occurring at a phenomenal rate — from computers to smartphones to solar cells — and private enterprise is not the only segment of our society cashing in on these advances. Law enforcement is using technology to make the industry (and the public) safer.
In the past, when officers encountered extraordinary circumstances that were high-risk, they looked to SWAT to resolve the situation.
Today, SWAT teams across the country are looking to technology to enhance their capabilities and make their jobs safer.
Technology Making SWAT Safer
• BearCats have protected teams and have helped them to resolve conflicts by deploying their monstrous vehicles right up to the front steps of the suspect’s residence and simply asking the perpetrator to surrender.
This newfound intelligence allows SWAT to better plan and strategize what their responses will be, and assists in setting out negotiation strategies.
SWAT Cops or RoboCop?
Tactical teams must still continue to train and be prepared to transition to plan B when these technological tools are unsuccessful or become non-functional.
Who knows what the future holds? Will SWAT become just a glorified perimeter team that relies on technology to resolve the conflicts that were traditionally entrusted solely to them?
I doubt it. SWAT has been and continues to be a necessary and desired component in our ability to resolve hostile and potentially catastrophic events.
However, in the future, we may be able to rely on technology to deal with armed suspects, rather than risk officers’ lives.
The fictional character in the 1987 science fiction action film RoboCop — which is now being remade into a new feature film due out later in 2014 — may not be so fictional after all.
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