The police force is a diverse and complicated system. From guns to gadgets, there are many interesting pieces of equipment that make up this branch of law enforcement. Here you will find a list of some common technologies used by officers across the country!
1. Radar guns
Radar guns are a popular tool used by officers to check the speed of passing motorists. These devices emit radio waves and receive their signals back as echoes. From those echoes, an officer can determine how far away an object is and how fast it is moving. The police department purchases radar guns that range in price depending on where they were made.
2. Laser Technology
Like radar guns, laser technology is widely used by police officers to determine the speed of vehicles. The only difference between these technologies is that laser uses a beam of light instead of radio waves. An officer will have to aim this device directly at an oncoming vehicle and pull the trigger once. If the front driver of the vehicle is speeding, then the driver prolongs the amount of time it took to get out of the officer’s sight.
3. Body Cameras
Body cameras or “body cams” are small devices that attach to an officer’s clothing and record audio and video footage. During times of conflict, this device will capture both sides of the argument. These devices also capture the moments before an officer reacts, so it can show whether or not that officer was in danger at all. This device is beneficial to both parties because if neither were armed then one of them would be held responsible for the fight.
4. Communication devices
The push-to-talk technology that officers use in the field is a small device that resembles a walkie-talkie. Officers can push a button and speak into this device in order to communicate with dispatch, other officers, or even one another in real-time. These devices are especially useful when an officer needs backup on the scene or if they need to relay information to dispatch.
5. Dash Cameras
Dash cameras are used to capture an event or series of events inside the car while it is in motion. Officers place these devices on their dashboards so that they can record the road ahead when driving through a dangerous area or any other time when an accident might occur. The benefit of this is that it can provide valuable insight into an accident or help corroborate a suspect’s testimony.
6. Smartphone applications
In recent years, apps have been developed specifically for use by law enforcement officials. These come with many features, from GPS mapping to recording capabilities from the officer’s cell phone itself. Some of these benefits include: handheld Alco-Sensor tests the presence of alcohol on a skin swab in under five minutes, iPhone apps are being developed to identify criminal suspects by comparing pictures of them with mugshots stored in digital police files, and iPhones can also be used as two-way radios.
7. GPS Tracking Devices
Officers often use GPS devices to track the location of suspects. Officers attach these small electronic tracking devices under a suspect’s car or on their ankle and then follow that person from a distance using a handheld device. These devices make it easier for officers to track dangerous criminals who attempt to flee by vehicle. They also help during missing children cases because officers can track the location of the child’s cell phone.
Breathalyzers are devices blown into to determine if they suspect a driver of being drunk. These small, portable devices were first introduced during the 1950s and have evolved over time. Now, Breathalyzers can not only detect alcohol but also drugs like marijuana or cocaine. Since 1999, there has been a nationwide effort to purchase this technology for police departments across the country.
9. Tasers and pepper sprays
Officers use these devices to subdue a suspect by causing them significant pain. Pepper spray is propelled in liquid form at high pressure while Tasers are handheld devices that shoot two thin wires with probes on the ends attached to an electric current. A Taser can have different voltage settings, but typically it begins with one that causes “neuromuscular incapacitation” and then progresses to another setting that causes “neuromuscular incapacitation and intense muscular pain”.
As you can see, there are many different technologies that the police force uses to help them do their jobs more effectively. These gadgets range from dashcams and GPS trackers to breathalyzers and tasers so it’s no wonder why they’re often called “the gadgetry of law enforcement”! These help to protect both officers and civilians so it’s important for people to understand the usefulness of each device.