The use of new technologies is imperative if the police are going to stay a step ahead of criminals. Along with advanced software, hardware and communications networks, enforcement and investigative tools are becoming increasingly mobile-centric.

The idea is to equip officers with the newest and most agile tools so that they can be readily applied in the field.

New tools have been introduced to maximize operating efficiency in recent years. These include in-vehicle computers, body cameras, license plate readers, handheld narcotics analyzers, map-based apps, mobile consoles for fingerprint reading, and facial recognition technologies.

The advent of these new tools is also expected help with the staff shortage that many departments face. In a world that is inundated with information, the correct use of technology will equip officers with relevant and real-time data.

A quick look at the emerging technologies that are trending in this segment will help us understand what law enforcement agencies are looking for.

Facial recognition glasses provide quick mugshots and the ability to zero in on suspects with a criminal record quickly. Recently, police in the UK used facial recognition tech to catch a suspect. Predictive policing technology is being adapted for crime-ridden areas in order to apprehend criminals and increase the safety of patrolling officers.

Taser Xrep is popular since it allows officers to weaken and stop violent criminals without hurting them nearly as badly as a gunshot would, a much-needed tool in this era of policing.

LED incapacitators function like tasers. The extreme bright lights cause nausea and vomiting, thereby weakening the offenders and making it easy to catch them.

Armed robot drones are used as low-cost surveillance of suspects from high above in the sky. Another non-lethal weapon is the Skunk Malodorant, which emits foul scented gas to subdue crowds.

The use of soundwave technology as a non-lethal weapon is fast becoming popular. This powerful and versatile instrument of communication can aid in crowd control and also increase officer safety by enabling them to communicate clearly from a safe distance.

These can be used for active shooter events and tactical standoffs, large demonstrations, natural disasters; and are easily mounted on cars, boats, bikes, and helicopters. Some departments are also ordering handheld units to help keep officers light and agile on the field.

It is not just police departments that are using these emerging technological tools. Correctional facilities are now using biometric technologies to improve offender identification and make the employee access authentication more efficient.

Emerging capabilities like biometrics have merged with traditional jail management software to streamline the function and security of overall facilities. They are also meant to provide more accurate inmate identification records and reduce chances of their escaping via false identities.

By Bambi Majumdar | MultiBriefs