Law Enforcement Tools of the 21st Century

Though much police work is still conducted using low tech means, many police departments and law enforcement agencies across the country are relying more and more on technology to catch the suspects they seek.

In fact, it could be argued that as the world continues to adopt more technology in every area of life, law enforcement must do everything possible to keep up with such advances. Criminals are increasingly using technology in order to commit crimes, making them all the more difficult to track. This situation has created a virtual arms race of technology between criminals and law enforcement agents.

Police in the Pennsylvania city of Pittsburgh have been targeting child sex offenders with increasing ferocity in recent years. Before, the child predators would simply go online and download racy images of children. Now, such offenders use the so-called “dark web” to share the images over peer to peer networks, in an attempt to avoid detection by law enforcement officials. In response, police have developed various methods of tracking the IP addresses of these offenders, and cracking their presumed anonymity.

These advanced techniques, which are being employed by the law enforcement agencies across the country, come in response to criminals’ developing increasingly technological and covert ways to commit their crimes.

Law enforcement has responded to criminals’ evasion attempts with the implementation of license plates scanners -which can read potentially thousands of license plates in the blink of an eye, facial recognition software, and even the planned deployment of unmanned drones.

The increase in technology used by the nation’s law enforcement agencies is both a symptom of the forces they are up against, and a catalyst for criminals taking their own technological measures to the next level.

Though law enforcement activities will likely always rely on interviewing witnesses, community help, and tips, technology will continue to play an increasing role in the way the good guys go after the bad guys.


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