Security is one of the major concerns all countries and improvement of it is any government’s top priority. Police technology is a term used to refer to the diverse range of technological and scientific methods, equipment and techniques used while policing. Advance in science has also led to advancement of the technologies employed by the police force for prevention of crime and also apprehension of criminals. Prior to introduction of crime fighting technologies, the police were being forced to perform all the crime fighting activities manually which at times was risky for them.
However, in the 20th century, technology for crime investigation and solving criminal related matters improved greatly and it has been on the rise since then. Different methods have been invented to help the police unit to fight crime, prevent it and to successful persecute or bring out a case against individuals who are found to have committed any form of crime. Also, due to the increasing globalization, this has led to increased terrorism threats thus necessitating use of highly effective and efficient technologies to ensure that security is maintained in the world today.
Also, most of the crimes which are being carried out today are done using complicated technologies which demands that the police force should be a step ahead of the criminals in use of technology. In the mid 20th century, police technology was in many countries recognized to be science discipline and a distinct academic and since then, it has tremendously grown and became a profession (Foster, para 1-2). Evolution of technology used in fighting and solving crimes First Technologies used by Police
As mentioned earlier, police technology has evolved over the years and its growth continues as crimes and criminals continue to become complicated owing to the increased use of high-tech methods. Police technology has been in existence since the early 20th century though during the technology was slightly primitive. Also, during this time, crimes were not as complicated as they are today. Technology has for long been employed to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the police force while preventing crime and/ or carrying out criminal investigations.
During the earlier years or the onset of the 20th century, becoming a police was one of the demanding careers which not only required commitment but also courage. Initially, (in the 19th century) the police used to carry out their patrol work using horses. This was very dangerous especially at night due to the risk which was being involved. Also, most of the people had no access to police services since police officers were few and also the stations. Crime was difficult to prevent and even fight.
In some areas, police were only armed with a night stick and a gun which made their work not only dangerous but also ineffective. In the year 1903, technological breakthrough was attained when a patrol wagon was invented. This marked a progress in technological advancement and it is attributed as the oldest forms of police technology to have been employed during the 20th century. The patrol wagons were vehicles which were three power-driven which boosted the efficiency of the police force.
This ensured that the police could also serve a larger area than they used to do before. Communication between stations was hard especially before the invention of electricity. Police had to travel for distances to convey urgent messages and information and at times appropriate action could not be taken on time. Their role of safeguarding life, preventing crime, apprehending criminals and protecting the citizens were poorly being carried out (Foster, para 4). In the 19th century, use of fingerprints for identification technology was discovered.
Some people observed that contact between the hands of a person and any surface left some marks which were barely visible and which were known as fingerprints. Fine powder or dusting was then used to make such marks visible. Fingerprints were found to be unique for every individual and they were therefore more accurate for identification purposes. This followed the designing of a system of classifying fingerprints which was based on grouping the fingerprints patterns into arches, whorls and loops.
This classification was done by a scientist by the name of Sir Francis Galton and it was later improved by Sir Edward R. Henry. It was widely used during the 20th century and it is still widely used today although the mode of classification has been improved for more accuracy. The first crime laboratory for the police department was established in the year 1910 by Edmund Locard in France while in the United States it was a crime laboratory was established by the year 1923 (Bellis, para 3-5).
Introduction of electricity which was being used as a means of communication between different stations was also a major breakthrough in police technology and formed the basis for today’s high-tech frontiers. In the year 1930s, a two-way radio was invented which multiplied the productivity of the police force while responding to various incidents. The first one way radio was used in Detroit police unit in the year 1928. In the 1930, automobile uses were widely being used by American police and they formed the foundation of today’s communication technology employed by the police force.
After introduction of automobiles and two-way communication systems, there was need for creation of a common communication line which could be used by the public for emergency purposes. This led to the introduction of the 911 in the year 1968. This system was meant to enable citizens all over the country to easily contact or notify the police department of any emergency that required immediate attention. This service was also being offered for free to all individuals (Bellis, para 7-9).