This paper highlights the dangers of policing. It also defines less than lethal weapons giving common examples. It further describes various technology used in policing. The issues of homeland security are also examined. Finally, the paper focuses on the future of policing.
Police are about three times likely to be killed while on duty as for instance on average Americans. About half of police killed on job are killed in traffic accidents. Some are killed while in pursuit of criminals or rushing to the scene of crime. The police will not be able to keep with fast changes in terrorism, cybercrime and technology is a threat owing to fear that police will become threat to civil liberty due to higher priority for homeland security. Another danger of policing is misuse of power and abuse of authority by unqualified leadership. An Aggressive policing and racial profiling could undermine the trust of the public more than at present (Gene S. 2005).
Less-than-lethal weapons are technological devices used to stop and disable armed, dangerous, and violent subjects without the use of firearms. Less than lethal weapons have been used in on-the-street confrontations for instance in hostage rescues, prison riots, suicide interventions and civil disturbances. These less-than-lethal weapons are used suppress the aggressor. When lethal force is not appropriate, it can cause collateral damage to property or bystanders. Some of them include rubber bullets, wax bullets plastic bullets, beanbag bullets, scent-based weapon (Malodorants), pepper spray, tear gas, mace (phenacyl chloride), sticky foam and electroshock weapon. (Lois P. 2005).
Hard technology in policing has advanced significantly allowing police officers to be equipped to protect themselves in times of danger. There are new technologies used by police that range from physical technologies such as improved bullet proof vests to hands free patrol car. The new technologies make life as a police officer safer and less stressful. Police use many different hard technologies such as helmets and bullet proof vests for their protection. The vests protect officers from gunshot wounds caused by any offender. New weapons have also been introduced into the police force. Originally officer’s used a revolver, they now use auto pistols (Technology of policing).
Miniaturized video (sound) communications systems that are carried in the helmet of a motorcycle officer or on the uniform of patrol officers are now being used. The picture of the officer and the subject’s actions are digitalized and relayed to a commander or control center. The information is analyzed quickly for decision making purposes and later for backup. This keeps the officer on toes acting as a deterrent to the in case the subjects are aware of the fact that they are watched. An over and under weapon that will have less than lethal round in one chamber and a lethal round in the other. A paintball or sticky foam rounding containing an electronic tagging device is shot at a speeding vehicle and later it is used to track it. The foam is used to disable the suspect who touched it since he would be unable to remove his hand. Magnetic tagging devices are attached to a vehicle during traffic stop over. The driver leaving the scene would not be chased as the track would be carried out using electronic device and if there is no problem, the officer would retrieve the device on return to the vehicle. Robots in the size of a spider that relay images and sound by creeping under the closed doorways and hiding in corners can be used (Lois P. 2000).
Local enforcement is taking a back seat to pressures from homeland security and similar non-neighborhood or off-site threats. The expectations of law enforcement as first responder for homeland security have put an unachievable burden on local law enforcement since it has the explosion of crimes like identity theft. Local enforcement is not designed to support cooperation needed, officer lack training and technology to carry out the job. Traditional law enforcement is being left behind. Technological advancement will increase social vulnerability and fear, giving terrorists and the criminals’ new methods and opportunities as well as giving police new tools to stop them. Public policing will be customized to the individual in the near future in whereby policing style will differ from neighborhood to neighborhood depending on the threats to and needs of different citizens. (Gene S. 2005).
Most street crime involves victims from nearby communities. Prevention therefore includes analysis activity of the immediate area. Street crimes has been replaced by internet assisted crimes and terrorism. The future of policing depends on the society being policed. That is the social, economic, political realities and technological sophistication of the populace. In Iraq police use ‘combat policing’ methods and seek support from public. In theocracies and dictatorships, policing is dictated by protecting and serving the interests of leaders. Success is possible if the personnel come from better-educated and mentored applicants to fit into re-organized structure designed to meet the roles and policing demands. (Gene S. 2005).
There should be linkages with military and international boundary-less policing with aid of coordination of police at all levels with other agencies to eradicate crimes. The future of policing has also shifted from street crime to cyber crime and depends on the society being policed.
Lois P. (2000). Less –than lethal weapons: New solutions for law enforcement, international of chiefs police press pp 1-2
Radley B. (2007) How Dangerous is police work? Retrieved from: http://reason.com/blog/2007/12/28/
Technology of policing. Retrieved from: http://www.allfreeessays.com/essays/Technology-Policing/
Gene S. (2005). Law Enforcement’s New changes, the futurists may 2005 vol. 51
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