Miscellaneous

Published on March 21st, 2018 | by Guest

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3 Cutting-Edge Technologies That Can Improve Law Enforcement Efforts

Silicon Valley-based innovators often have an eye towards the consumer market when developing new technology, but there is another sector that is constantly looking to implement new tech developments: law enforcement agencies.

Let’s explore the way these organizations use tech to improve policing strategies. In the past, we’ve listed the most helpful and famous apps used while on duty, but officers’ reliance on tech extends far beyond that. These three recent technologies have made a huge impact in law enforcement across the nation over the past few years:

“Smart” Breathalyzers

Drunk driving may be a national problem, but a high blood alcohol level can impact one’s ability to operate vehicles in a wide range of (potentially weird) situations. The thing is, people who get busted with a high BAC level on a bike, ATV, or lawnmower often don’t have the forethought to carry a form of identification with them. How can police officers identify suspicious individuals — especially when they may not exactly be coherent?

Hitachi is looking to resolve these thorny situations by providing a portable breathalyzer unit developed to be compatible with smartphones. While the individual in question performs the breathalyzer test, the camera of the device can monitor them and identify who they are.

While the uses of this device may be limited at present, its applications could grow in the future. One possibility is implementing this type of breathalyzer in public spaces to identify when drivers are intoxicated. After identifying the driver, the device could inform proper authorities. This could dramatically reduce fatalities to drunk driving.

Flying Police Drones

When it comes to surveillance, few things match the mobility and convenience of a drone. Imagine the possibilities of drones when put into the hands of law enforcement. A resource by the University of Cincinnati portrays the state of drone usage in the sector today: “Like a scene from a blockbuster movie, unmanned drones roam the skies helping in everything from rescue missions, patrolling borders to aiding in finding lost children.” Indeed, there are a wide range of applications for drones in crime prevention.

The most common drones used by law enforcement are actually readily available models for consumers. The models include:

  • Yuneec H520
  • Yuneec Typhoon H
  • 3DR X8+ Multicopter
  • DJI Matrice 600
  • DJI Phantom 4 PRO

While the high price tag for these models aren’t anything to sniff at, they have a wide range of next-gen features that can prove invaluable to officers on duty. More advanced models can automatically track moving people or vehicles while dodging obstacles and patrol locations. They can capture footage of fleeing criminals or missing individuals, which can prove invaluable to resolving issues.

Lightning-Fast Forensics

Finding the perpetrator of a crime often hinges on forensic data. But there’s just one problem: the world of forensics moves at a snail’s pace. DNA testing results often take 3-12 weeks, though some DNA labs can complete a test in as little as 1-2 days. When time is of the essence, this delay can seriously complicate a police investigation.

Fortunately, that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case any longer. NetBio, a company focused on DNA research and testing, has produced DNAscan, a 90-minute DNA testing kit that has begun to see use by law enforcement agencies. It has been approved for FBI use, and sees frequent use by a wide range of agencies. It is a portable system that can provide results for a DNA sample taken from a cheek swab. It can compare results with profiles listed in state and federal crime databases and determine if an individual has been linked to other crimes.

As this system sees more widespread use in the coming years, it will greatly expedite legal investigations.

These are a few examples of high-tech solutions in law enforcement. Have you seen or heard about other recent tech used in policing? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!

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