Police Communication Technology Term Paper

Pages: 5 (1786 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Criminal Justice

Police Communication Technology

The need for adapting to rapid changes in technology for the police force can be exemplified by pointing to the rising cyber crimes, and use of sophisticated computers and other technology in white collar crimes and the rising incidents of mobile phone and other gadget misuse. However the police all over the world are also into these changes largely because as individuals they use or are benefited from the changes in technology and gadgets. We can divide the technology into two systems, one based on work, the way the police attend to communication and secondly the inter-departmental use of technology. The officers have to be aware of the vast changes that have come in forensics, and other aspects of police work which means that there is a need for thorough training in modern lines.

Adapting to Technology:

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Technology in this context can be defined as having the following characteristics- that is, it is digital, and involves computers and other communication devices; involves audio, video and other facilities; involves video conferencing, scanning and generally telemetries and other content delivery features. (Wessels, 2007) the changes in society have brought about changes in the way many departments function. The social behavior of urban populations have undergone vast changes and the changes have been so rapid and if we compare the 1960s when the cassette recorder in automobiles was a wonder, to the Sony Walkman in 1979, and the mobile phone of today, shows that the modern urban and rural population have mobility and communication is a major need. This change has made dents in the way the traditional communication technology or 'fixed' media technologies like the telephone is now functioning. (Couldry; Mccarthy, 2004)

Term Paper on Police Communication Technology Assignment

These changes have brought with them challenges wherein law enforcement authorities also have to change and adapt to the changes. There is a positive role of adapting technology in police work and the use of technology has been largely beneficial in police work. There is evidence that in a major catastrophe or emergency it is possible to mobilize a large contingent of police personnel in a very short time and the effectiveness can be enhanced in meeting a situation and like wise mass notifications and communication can be easily achieved and these formerly were phone-based systems. Faxes are also used. (Schwabe; Davis; Jackson, 2001) Along with this, interpersonal communication has been improved with cell phones and with portable computers. Adapting these technologies has brought with it the need for specialized training for their effective use.

Technology and Training:

With regard to policing, technology can help with regard to the response towards the events and understanding challenges that comes up, both in the field and in various institutions. For example, strategic planning with massive scenario generation -- MSG is based on technology and human intensive operation and the model is created with the maximum possibility scenario. (Davis; et al., 2007) These are part of the policing and police controlled institutions. One such training is the 'day after' exercise that was developed at RAND. The day after games is not about planning but about raising the response and consciousness of the participants. The growth of situation management and analysis begins with the management theories of individualism and has been modeled into various methods. It was argued earlier that the individual rationality can be relied upon as it tends to meet his or her self-interest. Thus the institution was subject to this individualism which held that the rationalization of the individual goal and perception led to the institution welfare and progress. Now strategic management has moved from individual technical efficiency to the formulation of organizational process and belief systems. The management institutional theory hinges on the social characteristics of the persons involved in the institutional processes. Thus the technical environments and the institutional environments are having dependency based on the information, and the organization of response focuses around the streams of information and the protocols of the management of the institutional environment. Thus the management strategy largely depends on the operating environment and the systems interior dynamics. (Steidlmeier, 1993)

The fundamental use of technology and its intensive training in use cannot be overstated, because the ability of an organization to use technology to create a better delivery system of their services including communication and information is what adapting to technology is all about. The police as an institution have been quick to adapt technology to disseminate information to the public about services, and other legal information and safety. The police have been in the forefront in adapting such technology for the use of the department and in interaction with the public. (Wessels, 2007)

Further the use of modern weapons and highly dangerous instruments need special training. In the case of weapons there are developed weapons which are not exactly lethal but still dangerous to handle and this requires expertise, which implies thorough training. For example the 'flash bang' used by the SWAT is something like a smoke grenade and explode with a loud noise and light that can stun all persons in the vicinity. Thus therefore there is a need to train the police personnel not only to adapt to new technology but to also handle the gadgets with care and responsibility. The training centers are coping with this problem and in the case of the explosives mentioned above the training centers are using look alike and feel alike grenades to train personnel. (Snow, 2007)

These factors have to be taken into account in adapting the technology. While on the one hand the hype on technology has focused on its uses and the legality and competence, innovative police personnel are often seen to have taken the initiative in innovation of process and use of available means of communication even while over looking protocols.

The Undocumented Use:

There are instances where individuals and small offices have taken the initiative to prevent and check crime and provide intelligence over the existing protocol. For example after the formation of the European Union there arose a greater need for cross-border police cooperation which required that there be greater police liaison and the communications with the Interpol, and it is pointed out that the communication at least with relation to the Kent police was effective from 1960s -- even before the Union was formed and new technologies introduced. For example, Dover is the world's busiest passenger port in the world and from the 1960s there was the protocol of doing away with the cumbersome procedure through Interpol and this, it is argued is where the working of 'sheer necessity' can make the participants in a police activity innovate bypassing protocols. (O'Dowd; Wilson, 2003)

Thus we can see that parallel to the technology being developed, the police the world over are adapting to that change. There are dangers in adopting technologies without check and balances for both the effectiveness of the personnel and the public and may also result in injustice. The negative aspects of technology also therefore have to be considered.

The Negative Issues:

There are fall outs wherein computers may be corrupted or misused and increasing dependency on these machines may render the police ineffective without them. There is a danger of police dependency on computers because of the inherent insecurity in the machines themselves and computer records can not only get corrupt but also mislead. Though the police computers have a great standing in the legal system and computer checks are positive confirmation of identity and so on, they also can cause miscarriage of justice where it is used with a bias -- race and sex for example. It also may lead to mistaken identity and false imprisonment and the technology often becomes a weapon for misuse. (Sussman, 1997)

Not only the problem of misuse, but the system can itself shut out the needy supplicant from the help of the police. One such area where there is a conflict with the use of computerized method of screening calls and reality is in the issue of domestic violence. In a research by Peter Manning, the subject of communication within organization was discussed in detail. Peter Manning stated that the insistence in on the fact that an organization's standard operating procedures cause the outcome and condition its actions. It is thus stated that an organization's response for example domestic violence is determined by the way the message gets interpreted in the organizational network. (Buzawa; Buzawa, 1992)

Thus the police handling of domestic violence wherein calls that do not match the specific or typical expected responses get screened out even if genuine. This is also because the issue is regarded as a minor one of no police interest. Technology that has brought in the 911 number and Computer-Aided Dispatch have while in theory expected to enhance action, have in reality caused most calls to be rejected or screened out. Technology and its operation have brought in format that disregard individual needs and often ignores the "needs and desires of victims and offenders as technological control increases."… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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