Their lobbying efforts primarily focused on the federal laws related to competition in agriculture, the Farm Bill, and biotechnology.
This report provides a detailed look at police technology. It is meant to help readers as they consider the evolution and future development of police technology and the role of the National Institute of Justice NIJ in fostering that development.
It was prepared with a diverse audience in mind, all of whom have a stake in ensuring that the police are equipped to do their job safely and efficiently: The job is exacting. The police are asked to control crime, maintain order, and provide an intricate array of services, from responding to emergency calls to regulating the flow of traffic.
On occasion, they must perform remarkable feats of criminal investigation, quell rowdy crowds and violent offenders, and put their lives on the line.
Much of the time, police resources are limited. It is estimated that the workload crime imposes on the police has increased fivefold since Their resources have not kept pace with their workload.
The Police and Technology To do their job, police frequently have looked to technology for enhancing their effectiveness. The advent of fingerprinting in the s and of crime laboratories in the s greatly augmented the police capacity to solve crimes.
The introduction of the two-way radio and the widespread use of the automobile in the s multiplied police productivity in responding to incidents. But, as noted in this report, progress in technology for the police has often been slow and uneven.
The Crime Commission was established in the s in response to rapidly rising crime rates and urban disorders. The Commission advocated federal government funding for state and local criminal justice agencies to support their efforts. It called for what soon became the system for fielding emergency calls and recommended that agencies acquire computers to automate their functions.
But even with the start-up help of hundreds of millions of dollars in early federal assistance, computerization came slowly. Only in recent years have many agencies found the use of information technologies significantly helpful.
Examples include fingerprinting databases, computerized crime mapping, and records management systems doing everything from inventorying property and cataloging evidence to calculating solvability factors.
Police Technology and the National Institute of Justice Many police technologies are drawn and adapted from the commercial marketplace. Cars, radios, computers, and firearms are examples.
But this report notes that the police have vital needs for special technologies for which there is no easily available source. Examples are devices to use less-than-lethal force in controlling unruly persons, to stop fleeing vehicles, and to detect concealed weapons and contraband in nonintrusive ways.
Private sector technology developers and manufacturers are reluctant to meet many special technology needs of the police. The fragmentation of the American police market, which numbers more than 17, agencies, makes selling to the police a time-consuming and expensive proposition.
Liability issues are also a concern: Will the manufacturer be protected if its product is used in a way that injures officers or citizens? The job of fulfilling special technology needs for state and local law enforcement belongs to the National Institute of Justice NIJthe criminal justice research arm of the U.
It also develops voluntary product standards, compliance and testing processes, and it disseminates a wide range of information on criminal justice technology. Its most notable accomplishments were the development of soft body armor for the police and establishment and dissemination of performance standards for police equipment.
Beginning in the s, however, the Administration and Congress recognized increased needs for technology and began funding NIJ to meet them. A current example is a five-year project to improve the quality and availability of DNA technology to local and state law enforcement.The main conclusion of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, Further Steps by OSHA Would Enhance Monitoring of Enforcement and Effectiveness, is: “OSHA and state-run programs conduct a number of enforcement activities to protect the nation’s workers, but OSHA knows little about their effectiveness.
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