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October 29, 2011
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PoliceOne Special Contributors Become a Cop
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Police technology: The latest gear, trends

Read about some great gadgetry that helps officers do their job better and keeps everyone safer

Police technology is always changing, and can be one of the most interesting things about police work. For many, working with the assistance of state of the art, cutting edge gear is one of the best perks of being in law enforcement. This article investigates some great gadgetry that helps officers do their job better and keeps everyone safer.

The integrated biometrics identification system is one of the latest developments in police technology. Essentially, it allows police to fingerprint detainees in the field and almost instantly find out if the person is who they say they are. People with outstanding arrest warrants are detained immediately and placed under arrest, regardless of whether they have a fake ID or no identification at all. This technology is a boon to officers, saving them time because they no longer have to waste hours bringing the suspect into the station for fingerprinting. The cost of the primary device is $3,500 and the handheld field devices are about $700 each.

Crime scene investigation is one area of police technology that's garnered a huge amount of interest since the television show of the same name came on the scene. While much of the TV show is unrealistic in terms of the way it portrayed CSI police work, there are many new cutting edge developments that have increased the ability of investigators to do their job effectively and solve crimes that never could have been solved otherwise.

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Laser scanning is a digital CSI police technology that can recreate 3-D images of crime scenes. They're viewed on computer screens and can be adjusted so the crime scene can be viewed at different angles and from varying points of view. Laser scanning also helps to reduce the contamination of crime scenes by having multiple officers viewing evidence.

A crime scene can be scanned from the sidelines before any investigators set foot on it, thus preserving the integrity in a digital form that can be viewed throughout the investigation. Witnesses can also view the digital scenes to help them recall details that they may have forgotten. Laser scanning is used more often in Great Britain than in the U.S. It's also used in auto accident investigations.

Cyber sleuthing is another form of police technology that's aided in solving crimes and catching and prosecuting law breakers. Evidence garnered from suspect's computers is increasingly used to put people behind bars for a variety of crimes, including murder, extortion, bribery and robbery. People often think that if they delete an email or erase a search history on their computer, it means it's gone forever.

But computer sleuths working in law enforcement can easily detect deleted and erased files from suspect's computers. For instance, if a husband calls 911 and says that his wife has had a seizure and died, it might look like an open and shut case of death by natural causes. But if when the police check his computer hard drive they find out that he's recently researched how to poison someone without getting caught, the picture changes dramatically.

As police technology develops further, it will be interesting to see the many ways in which how law enforcement evolves.

About the author

"Become a Cop" articles are intended to educate individuals interested in law enforcement careers about what it takes to join the force. These articles are written by PoliceOne staff members and PoliceOne contributors, and cover a wide range of topics from the basics on the different types of law enforcement careers to how to prepare for the police recruitment interview. If there's a topic you'd like to see covered, or are interested in writing for Become a Cop, email editor@policeone.com.



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