How Technology is Shaping Law Enforcement
Raleigh motorcycle cops keep an eye on a ReOpen NC protest.

How Technology is Shaping Law Enforcement

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Technology is quickly transforming how law enforcement fights crime in the 21st century. Police departments now have access to an arsenal of high-tech tools and systems designed to enhance public safety, save lives, and catch criminals. From facial recognition and drones to body-worn cameras, there are many technologies equipping law enforcement agencies with new capabilities to protect and serve.

Here’s a look at some of the exciting ways new technology is playing a vital role in the law enforcement field today.

Predictive Policing Using Artificial Intelligence

We live in a world full of data. Considering that law enforcement departments deploy multiple technologies like body cameras, augmented reality, license plate readers, and smart sensors, the data generated is massive. When you combine that with the information available in law enforcement databases, you can see why the need for better data management is growing every day.

Thanks to artificial intelligence and machine learning, law enforcement agencies can quickly and efficiently harness these massive amounts of data to support investigations and law enforcement actions. AI makes it possible to implement predictive policing measures by analyzing patterns, database records, and sensor feeds, providing more detailed insights that help police do their job more effectively and consistently.

Civilian Security Accessibility

Security cameras used by the public sector are getting better all the time. Years ago, police may be handed hours of tape from multiple cameras near the site of a crime. It could take hours to sift through to find the evidence they need. Now the systems powering these cameras automatically flag instances of movement for easy review and export a video clip.

It’s now far easier to collect video evidence from multiple cameras at the scene of a crime, and most business owners can even view their camera footage via smartphone. This is also a significant benefit to cases where time is a factor. When a suspect is seen on camera, every officer on the case can see the clip within the hour.

Video clarity has also seen significant improvements. It’s not uncommon to see security cameras record video in full 4K at 3840 x 2160 resolution. A huge step up from grainy CCTV footage.

Improved Officer Protection

Over the last few years, we’ve seen how the implementation of cameras, whether body cameras or dash cameras on police patrol cars, has transformed law enforcement. There are numerous automatic recordings of interactions between police and the public that have saved lives, reduced police behavior complaints, and even improved outcomes.

The use of such technology is playing a more prominent role in ensuring improved police protection when on-duty. More law enforcement agencies are investing in sophisticated systems that collect and analyze real-time information, which helps improve officer safety when responding to calls. Other tools improving officer safety include:

  • Robotic cameras for monitoring dangerous situations or locations
  • Drones for surveillance in crime scenes or ongoing threat situations
  • Small robots suitable for use in dangerous situations, such as hazardous scenes or situations where officers need to locate threats

All these tools are becoming part of a larger crime-prevention kit for officers on patrol. Think of simple items like a police laptop mount inside a cruiser to robots for threat analysis. All these tools are being combined to ensure officers respond to crime scenes feeling safer.

Crime Prevention Using Pre-Crime Technology

<span srcset=
Photo by Matt Popovich on Unsplash” width=”660″ height=”357″> A police car belonging to the United States Secret Service Uniformed Division patrols a street adjacent to the White House in Washington, DC.


The best way to fight crime is to take steps to keep it from happening in the first place. Technology makes this possible by making use of predictive analytics and AI tools to analyze big data and make connections that help stop crime and illegal activity before it starts.

New, advanced tools like the ShotSpotter, which triangulates information to correctly determine the location of gunshots in a specific area, are being developed every day. When combined with other technologies like license plate detection tools and community apps with intelligent chatbots, police are able to get crime reports, investigate shootings, and manage patrols in high-crime locations quickly. Law enforcement agencies are also using facial recognition technology to fight crime and identify individuals wanted for crimes in large crowds.

Greater Awareness and Faster Response

Emerging technologies like smart sensors, machine learning applications, and the Internet of Things (IoT) play a significant role in helping law enforcement officers collect and compile vital information that helps them do their job faster and more effectively. Police officers can easily log locations, stream video, scan databases on-the-go, flag license plates, and go on virtual patrols.

These new capabilities provide them with unprecedented situational awareness in any environment and detailed analytics that help them respond faster to incidents, expedite investigations, and enhance efficiencies. In fact, with such capabilities, police officers can be in the right place, at the right time, saving a life or preventing a crime.

Law Enforcement Technology is Changing Rapidly

Thanks to advancements in technology, law enforcement agencies are now better equipped to face the rapidly changing threat environment and challenges of the 21st century. Law enforcement leaders must stay informed on these advancing capabilities, understand their pros and cons, and make informed recommendations on what technologies their police departments and local communities should invest in. The best technology should have a positive impact on the safety of officers and the public.

Aaron Smith

Aaron Smith is an LA-based content strategist and consultant in support of STEM firms and medical practices. He covers industry developments and helps companies connect with clients. In his free time, Aaron enjoys swimming, swing dancing, and sci-fi novels.

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Aaron Smith

Aaron Smith is an LA-based content strategist and consultant in support of STEM firms and medical practices. He covers industry developments and helps companies connect with clients. In his free time, Aaron enjoys swimming, swing dancing, and sci-fi novels.

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