Advancements in Modern Police Technology
Christopher L. Kiah
This paper briefly explores some of the various advancements in modern police technology. With the many advancements pertaining to law enforcement technologies and tactics, life as a police officer has become much safer, and extremely more efficient. This paper explores some of the advancements in Deoxyribonucleic Acid or DNA, non-lethal and less then lethal weapons and munitions, fingerprint processing and the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS), as well as crime mapping and case management tools and programs. This paper will also briefly highlight brand new and experimental technology called License Plate Reading Systems (LPRS), some of which have already been implemented throughout the United States. Although this paper examines the technologies which have made policing a more efficient process, it does not and cannot contain every law enforcement technological advancement, as there are many. This paper will shed light on key law enforcement technological advancements that have changed law enforcement forever and also provide basic insight on the respective technologies. Advancements in Modern Police Technology Since the early 20th century, there have been a variety of pivotal technological advancements in law enforcement that have reshaped how law enforcement officers conduct everything from their overall mission to their daily duties. The technological advancements made in law enforcement also came with a trial and error timeframe, possible legal issues, the related impact on the public, and associated costs with research, implementation, and sustainment. Although there are many issues that need to be analyzed and resolved prior to the implementation of a new police technologies, each comes with the sole mission of making policing more efficient and protecting the lives of citizens and officers alike.
Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) has had an unimaginable impact on the criminal justice system and law enforcement. After Dr. Alec Jeffreys discovery in 1985, which proved that DNA is effectively different in each person, and his development of a way to interpret the differences in DNA (Butler, 2005), the criminal justice system quickly took notice. Due to the fact that DNA research was a relatively new idea, previous DNA research was taken lightly. DNA is contained in everything from a skin cell to a drop of blood and with the development of the aforementioned system; identifying suspects and proving their involvement beyond a reasonable doubt became possible. There are various legal aspects that arose from the development and use of DNA testing in the criminal justice system. DNA provides evidence which can sometimes overturn a verdict which has already been decided, often years before. There have been a numerous incidents where post conviction DNA testing proved the defendant was without a doubt, not the perpetrator of a particular crime. Advancements in DNA have also allowed police detectives and federal agents the opportunity to test and compare DNA during criminal investigations. There have been a variety of legal issues surrounding the involuntary extraction of DNA, most of which argue to what degree involuntary extraction is protected under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution, which covers unreasonable search and seizure. A recent issue up for discussion surrounds the particular trigger granting the government the right to force an involuntary extraction of DNA from an individual for testing and storage, and what requirements must be met prior to extraction. DNA is a cost effective solution and tool to combating serious crime and has been a major development. In 1996, the National Academy of Sciences accepted DNA evidence as unquestionable evidence.
Another important technological advancement which has helped the law enforcement mission drastically is the development of non-lethal and less then lethal weapons. Non-lethal and less then lethal weapons provide law enforcement with other options when dealing with uncooperative subjects vice using firearms and deadly force. One of the most common non-lethal munitions used today is Oleoresin Capsicum (OC), which is also known as pepper spray. When applied to the facial area the spray causes temporary impairment and provides law enforcement the opportunity to apprehend the suspect. Since its widespread use started by law enforcement and corrections officials throughout the United States in 1982, OC has been proven effective in its application and uses. A study by the National Institute of Justice reviewed a 2-year North Carolina Study which concluded that the use of pepper spray significantly reduced officer and subject injuries respectively (Bowling, Gaines, & Petty, 2003). The legal issues surrounding the use of OC have been associated with positional asphyxiation, OC related deaths, and on what actions by a suspect call for the use of OC. Despite the legal issues which were associated with the use OC during its early stages, there have been numerous studies conducted by various law enforcement agencies and educational institutions that show OC is an effective, safe, and a cheap non-lethal resource for officers to use.
The Taser is another important non-lethal option for law enforcement and corrections throughout the United States. Since its widespread use by law enforcement started in 1993, the taser has seen many enhancements. In recent years the outfitting of law enforcement agencies has greatly increased, and the taser is considered an invaluable tool available to law enforcement for the de-escalation of force. The taser uses a nitrogen propelled electric shock system to deliver a shock to individuals, leaving them temporarily impaired and unable to move. Applications of the typical taser last anywhere from five to ten seconds and can deliver a range of voltage, depending on application. There have been numerous incidents where use of the taser has helped quickly defuse violent and otherwise deadly situations. The use of the taser has allowed law enforcement personnel the opportunity to deescalate situations where they may have had to otherwise use deadly force or other means of force. Although there are many good things about the taser, there has been scrutiny over the possible health risks associated with the use of the taser on both the public and legal playgrounds. In 2005, Taser International published information which advised that multiple applications of the taser device on a subject within a short time period could ???impair breathing, respiration , and contribute to significant and potentially fatal health risks in people in a state of excited delirium??? (Chasnoff, 2008) . With the safety issues surrounding the use of the taser many states have enacted legislation requiring the completion of a regimented training program by officers prior to being allowed to carry a taser, as well as providing strict guidelines in the application and use of the taser. New Jersey does not allow the use of a taser by law enforcement and other states which have passed legislation concerning taser use include Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Florida (Seals, 2007). The cost of the taser is still somewhat high due to the various upgrades and packages available to law enforcement, but as evidenced by widespread use, is not a deterrent to many agencies. While there are some who say the health risks associated with the use of the taser are too high, the lack of scientific evidence to show a correlation has allowed law enforcement agencies around the world to use the taser effectively in day to day operations. With continued development and advancements, the taser will without a doubt become a safer technology and is here to stay.
The use of fingerprints to catch criminals is an age old tactic that once required the use of a variety of time consuming techniques. With the development of the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 1999, IAFIS provided the law enforcement community with a substantially faster resource for fighting crime. IAFIS was developed by the FBI and is comprised of fingerprints and criminal history data for an estimated 55 million individuals (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2008). The system is made up of submissions from law enforcement agencies across the country and submissions are generated from individuals whom were arrested and processed by that particular agency. The idea behind IAFIS is that a respective agency can scan subject??™s fingerprints into the system and have them queried against others in hopes of a match. A query can take as little as a few hours instead of taking months sending fingerprint cards across the country. The initial start up cost for an agency to get the system online is minimal and only requires the purchase of a fingerprint scanner, printer, and a special computer terminal. Every agency should have access to IAFIS as it provides a fast and more comprehensive way for law enforcement to identify and catch criminals.
Crime Mapping has long since been a part of the law enforcement mission. Crime mapping involves taking incidents of crime and analyzing the ???who, what, where, when, why, and how??? aspects involved in a particular area or place. Using the information gathered by crime mapping, departments can identify trends and problem areas within their jurisdictions, as well as connect related incidents. There are a variety of crime mapping programs in use by law enforcement agencies across the United States to include CompuStat, which is used by the New York Police Department and is considered a leader in crime mapping software. Other programs like Home Office Large Major Enquiry System (HOLMES) which gained notoriety while in use by British Law Enforcement, include complete case management capabilities. HOLMES allows detectives to review and analyze complete case data to include reports, pictures, trends, etc (Dempsey, & Frost, 2008). The use of crime mapping and case management software can be expensive when integrating the system into a citywide network, but the benefits outweigh the cost for most departments. Technology has allowed for the development and use of the software and its implementation has certainly helped the law enforcement effort worldwide.
License Plate Reading Systems (LPRS) are a newer technology that law enforcement has recently started to explore and implement throughout the United States. LPRS call for the placement of multiple cameras atop a vehicle and while the vehicle is on patrol, the LPRS views and collects license plate numbers along the patrol route. After collection, the LPRS then queries the collected data with respective state and local systems in search of any discrepancy or wanted person. The LPRS allows officers to only monitor an onboard computer, vice having to enter the license plate numbers in manually. LPRS allow for a more sophisticated and efficient process of policing as they even alert officers to stolen vehicles on a respective patrol route. There are a variety of legal issues that have arisen from the use of LPRS as some feel that it is an invasion of public privacy. Skeptics also feel that the continual supervision and monitoring by LPRS and the advanced law enforcement information sharing technologies raise concern over how the information will be used and stored, and may pose a privacy invasion by the government (International Association of Chiefs of Police, 2009). Additionally, the cost of LPRS remains high, as the technology is still new and experimental.
There are a variety of technologies that have made the law enforcement community a safer and extremely more efficient place. Officers have a wide range of new and efficient technologies that allow them to do their job quicker and encompass a wide array of tactics and ideas. With the use of the various technological advancements, law enforcement is bound to become even more efficient. The International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are two great organizations that have a lead on the different technologies available and currently under research.References
Bowling, M., Gaines, M., & Petty, C.S. (2003). Research for practice. The effectiveness and safety of pepper spray, 195739. Retrieved November 19, 2009, from http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/195739.pdf
Butler, J.M. (2005). History of forensic DNA analysis. Retrieved November 19, 2009, from http://dna.gov/basics/analysishistory
Chasnoff, B. (2008, October 5). How much taser is too much The San Antonio Express News, p. A1. Retrieved from Proquest database. (1568108961)
Dempsey, J.S., & Frost, L.S. (2008). An introduction to policing (Fourth Edition). (pp 409-410) Belmont, CA: Thomson and Wadsworth.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (2008, March 13). Integrated automated fingerprint identification system or IAFIS. Retrieved November 19, 2009, from http://www.fbi.gov/hq/cjisd/iafis.htm
International Association of Chiefs of Police. (2009, September) Privacy impact assessment report for the utilization of license plate readers. Retrieved November 20, 2009, from http://www.theiacp.org/LinkClick.aspxfileticket=N%2bE2wvY%2f1QU%3d&tabid=8
Seals, E. (2007). Police use of tasers: the truth is “shocking”. 38 Golden Gate U.L. Rev. 109, Golden Gate University Legal Review, Retrieved from LexisNexis database.
Advancements in Modern Police Technology
Text: Shakespeare??™s Romeo and Juliet
Assignment: Explore Shakespeare??™s of a tragedy in his tragedy Romeo and Juliet. Use quotations from the text to support your sentences.
How Shakespeare Crafts a Tragedy
William Shakespeare devised a romantic-tragedy called Romeo and Juliet by building up the emotion, hatred and sorrow. The play is set in Verona where there is a feud between two families called the Montagues and Capulets, they each produce a single child who fall in love and end up dying tragically. Even though Shakespeare??™s play was a romantic story he aimed for his audience to experience pathos by creating such a tragic ending which ends the conflict between the families but it leaves them grieving over the deaths of two lovers. The play is cleverly written as Shakespeare used mainly young, innocent and defined characters as their deaths provided a vital ingredient to making the pathos even greater.
Shakespeare cleverly crafts the prologue by foretelling the conclusion of the play at the beginning. He uses a sonnet and it is perfect for the genre as Romeo & Juliet is a romantic story, although he uses descriptive phrases like ???A pair of star crossed lovers take their life??? this suggests that two people who got hit by fate and end up losing their life you love. As well as the foretelling phrases of miserable events, he uses negative words such as ???strife???, ???fatal???, ???death???, and this gave his audience negative imagery. Shakespeare??™s use of the prologue reveals how it can be an important technique for devising a great tragedy.
Shakespeare managed to use foreshadowing in every act of the play with characters oblivious to the fact that they were foretelling their endings. Romeo??™s soliloquy in Act 5 Scene 1 Line 6 begins with explaining a dream he had ???I dreamt my lady came and found me dead??? he predicts his death but in line where Romeo says that his lady brings him back to life with her kisses, sadly Shakespeare does not want a happy ending otherwise it wouldn??™t be a tragedy so when Romeo does die he does not wake up again. Also in Act 3 Scene 5 Line 54-57 Juliet is alone with Romeo on a balcony thinking about what life would be like with out Romeo she states that Romeo was better off dead than not being with her by quoting ???Methinks I see thee [Romeo] now thou art so low, as one dead at the bottom of a tomb???.
After the death of Mercutio and Tybalt in Act 3 the mood of the play dramatically changes from excitement (with the secret wedding of Romeo and Juliet) to misery (Romeo is exiled to Mantua). Mercutio was generally a funny and energetic character but as he is dying in the streets of Verona, Mercutio describes his wound in Act 3 Scene 1 Line 92??“93 ???No, ??™tis not as deep as a well, nor so wide as a church door, but ???tis enough, ???twill serve. He says that the wound may be small but it is enough to kill him he also jokes about how he is going to end up by saying ???Ask for me tomorrow and you shall find me a grave man???. Shakespeare had a great use of a pun as the word ???grave??? has two meanings. One meaning is a corpse is a grave and other is a serious person. Shakespeare used this pun because he wanted to show that Mercutio could still make jokes even though he is dying. He uses a curse which is typical in Greek tragedies to foreshadowing the play??™s conclusion ???A plague on both your houses???. And he curses both the Montague and the Capulet households.
When Mercutio is killed by Tybalt, Romeo seeks revenge but after Tybalt is slain he quotes in Act 3 Scene 1 Line 132 ???O, I am fortune??™s fool??? he realises the consequences he has to suffer. When Tybalt dies immediately the whole mood of the play changes as Romeo is banished to Mantua by Prince Escales. Romeo did not want to kill Tybalt as Romeo knew he was related to him through the marriage to Juliet, but he wanted to take revenge for the death of his friend.
In Act 3 Scene 5 Juliet feels extremely lonely as she has lost her friendship with her Nurse because she could not cope with Juliet being disowned by her parents so she was trying to convince Juliet to marry Paris. Juliet felt that she could not trust her again, this left Juliet with no one to turn to as Romeo had been banished to Mantua due to the death of Tybalt. Lady Capulet finds her daughter crying and assumes she is mourning over the death of Tybalt, and she never had a great bondage with Juliet as the Nurse was like her surrogate mother. Juliet becomes severely miserable when her mother says she has sent an assassin to kill him. Shakespeare uses Juliet??™s isolation to make the pathos even greater as she faked her death so she could be happy with Romeo in Mantua. By running away with his but she ends up finding him dead and commits suicide.
Shakespeare crafts many events in the play to happen by coincidence. For example Friar John was not able to deliver a crucial letter to Romeo to explain that Juliet was going to fake her death. But Friar John had conveniently been locked in a house with the plague. The plague was common in the Elizabethan era. This incident affected the whole play as Romeo did not need to die because if he had not died then Juliet nor Paris would be dead, and the play would not have a tragic ending. Another coincidence was that Friar Laurence arrived just after Romeo had committed suicide. When a noise frightens the friar it scares him off as he does not want to be caught with Juliet trying to help her escape or he would be in serious trouble. So he leaves Juliet and she ends up stabbing herself with Romeo??™s dagger.
Shakespeare used Paris to make the ending of his play even more tragic. As Shakespeare used a young, loyal, innocent and well-intentioned character when Paris died it made the pathos greater because Paris was oblivious to the situation. He innocently wanted to marry Juliet. Unfortunately she had already been secretly wed to Romeo and she faked her death to be with him. Everyone except Friar Laurence thought she was dead so Paris was trying to be a dutiful husband-to-be by visiting Juliet??™s tomb. Paris was at the wrong place at the wrong time. Paris tried to do what was right by attempting to arrest Romeo when he saw Romeo in the Capulet tomb, he assumed that Romeo was there to vandalise. The tomb was very dark as Paris did not want to be seen so when the two men fought Romeo was unaware of his opponent. When Paris was defeated his dying wish was to be laid next to Juliet. Romeo then realised that he killed Paris and so Romeo had more guilt upon his shoulders.
There was only one reason for the death of Romeo and it was because Friar John could not deliver the crucial letter explaining the circumstances. Romeo was a young, gentle and peaceful character. When Romeo defeated Paris in the Capulet tomb, he felt very sympathetic towards Paris as he realised that they both had a lot in common as they both dearly loved Juliet and this made the tragedy so great. They both died because of love. Romeo bought some poison from an apothecary so he could rest in peace with Juliet, so he had planned to die not knowing that she was not dead.
Shakespeare made sure that Juliet??™s death was worse of all because she faked her death so she could be with Romeo. She was young, and pretty. She was arranged to be married to Paris as her parents were unaware that she had been secretly wed to Romeo. She had been disowned by her parents and the Nurse lost her trust. So Juliet tried to make her life better for Romeo and herself. But Shakespeare did not want a happy ending for his play or his audience would not be able to experience pathos. Romeo and Juliet were known to have flaws in their characters. As it was love at first sight and that swiftly went to a secret wedding. Juliet quoted ???My only love came from my only hate???; she exaggerated as she had only met him once and assumed he was the best. Juliet was a bit biased towards Romeo; she never really gave Paris a chance. Paris proved he was loyal and well-intentioned, and he would have been approved by Juliet??™s parents.
Shakespeare let Romeo, Juliet, Paris, Mercutio and Tybalt died. But sadly Lady Montague died aswell, there was no specific cause for her death but it makes the play even more depressing as it was one extra person killed due to this tragedy.
Overall, Shakespeare??™s play was a well written play as he was able to achieve his aim for his audience to experience pathos, I experienced pathos myself as I felt too many people died and most of the dead were young. There were many reasons for this because the Montagues and the Capulets both had a single child and the both died this made the tragedy even sadder as Romeo and Juliet were young lovers and they just wanted to be happy. I enjoyed the way Shakespeare used many ideas to make one tragedy as he used coincidence, death and foreshadowing to help make such an outstanding tragedy.