The recession has made most law enforcement agencies cut back on their purchases of technology. That means that all of law enforcement is having to learn what small agencies have known for some time. You can do a lot for less, if you put your mind to it.
May 22, 2012
Cops still sit in cars watching houses and businesses, but they are just as likely to be using clandestine tactics to see inside buildings and over fences, scan faces in a crowd, and review security camera footage. The newest and most innovative surveillance tools work without the bad guys ever knowing they are being watched until it's too late.
December 22, 2011
The attack on the Twin Towers and the Hurricane Katrina disaster brought to the forefront the necessity of communications interoperability, or more simply put, being able to talk to each other. Benton County, Wash., has something very close to a model of interoperability in the form of its Southeast Communications Center, known locally as SECOMM.
September 13, 2011
Everyone has ideas on how to improve their workplace. Sometimes they're even good, workable ideas. You know how you would do things if you were the boss. Fortunately, you don't necessarily have to be the boss to bring your brainchild to reality. You just have to sell it effectively.
August 2, 2011
To the casual observer, a discussion of "flashlight technology" seems like gilding the lily. You push a button, a light comes on; you push it again, the light goes off. Today, our flashlights use a wide variety of power sources and types of illumination, and generally cost a lot more than the $1.98 one would pay for a two-cell light at the hardware store.
June 13, 2011
Technological advancements allow companies to continually refine the quality of use-of-force simulators, but vendors have also been paying attention to the budget problems of public safety agencies that buy them.
April 19, 2011
Night vision gear is still a lot more expensive than a flashlight, even though prices are falling and the gear is more portable and better-performing than ever before.
March 15, 2011
Automated License Plate Recognition (ALPR) technology has been the "oh, wow" gadget for the past few years, and with good reason. ALPR can identify, screen, and record the license plates of more vehicles than an entire squad of police officers could handle, and can do it with greater accuracy and no fatigue factor.
February 15, 2011
The cops who came before you had to rely on plastic-coated reference cards and notebooks stuffed in their shirt pockets, and maybe you do to some degree as well. Still, there's no reason not to take advantage of the amazing and relatively cheap computing power of a smartphone to use while on patrol.
January 6, 2011
There are many mobile applications designed specifically for law enforcement officers, and even more that were intended for a more general audience, but that cops will find useful. Those listed below include some from both the police and non-police market sectors.
January 6, 2011
Modern surveillance techniques still use the old methods, but technology can make the process both easier and more likely to yield good results.
December 14, 2010
It's easy to forget the work that goes into making gadgets do what they do, those ones and zeroes that comprise their software. Here's a look at software that you can use right now on the job.
November 16, 2010
Much of this decision depends on what make and model of computer you have, what is broken, and/or what you need the computer to do that it isn't able to do now. Sometimes you can do a transplant, and in other situations the best thing is to let it go and give it a decent burial.
September 28, 2010
With the exception of far-less-common biological or radiological threats, explosive devices are the nightmare scenario for people charged with protecting people and places. But advanced techniques can help detect these threats.
June 30, 2010
Experience is the best teacher for learning to spot contraband drugs and alcohol and drug intoxication in the field. But the cop needs a demonstrable standard for evidence. It's here that presumptive field testing for alcohol and drugs is most useful.
May 28, 2010