Money counters and more: 5 pieces of technology helping law enforcement fight crime
Technology has progressed at a rapid pace over the past 50 years, and nowhere has this progress been more influential than in the law enforcement industry in tools like money counters. Digital tools have revolutionized the way investigations are conducted, evidence is collected and criminals are prosecuted. Everyday operations and administrative tasks are able to be conducted in a more fluid and error-proof manner, allowing productivity, efficiency and accuracy to grow within the criminal justice process.
Here's a look at some of the devices that are enhancing the way law enforcement is performed:
Cash counters and other digital tools
When prosecuting cases involving large amounts of money, authorities need a reliable way to efficiently and correctly ascertain how much capitol they're dealing with - that's where money counters come in. If an error is made in the counting stage, cases can't be processed efficiently, and justice takes much longer to be served. Additionally, some money counters, like the JetScan iFX scanner, are able to detect fraudulent bills, which is a crucial feature for agencies trying to deal with counterfeiters. Money counters take on important tasks and perform them without the risk of human error. Instead of counting bills and running tests to detect counterfeit currency, law enforcement agents can be one step ahead - finding and stopping the fraudulent operations.
Augmented reality - the same technology that's already being used in popular smartphone games - is also being looked at by law enforcement agencies as a potentially useful tool. According to The Balance, applying AR to technology like Google glass - a headset with a small screen that projects the same information you'd access from a smartphone - could revolutionize the way policing is done.
"Imagine an officer on foot patrol. As he walks down the street, his special glasses are recording and analyzing everything he sees. A built-in screen provides information about the businesses, homes and vehicles he looks at, while facial recognition software provides real-time information about the people he passes, letting him know if anyone matches BOLO descriptions or if someone he is near has an outstanding warrant," the source explained about the potential future uses of AR as a law enforcement tool.
Of course, this scenario is largely futuristic - AR hasn't been embraced across police forces just yet. But the technology is advancing at light speed, which means it's only a matter of time until it starts impacting major industries.
Since being introduced as a law enforcement tool, flying drones have been found to be useful by many law enforcement authorities. According to the University of Cincinnati, drones are a relatively inexpensive way to keep watch over large amounts of land. In cases that involve finding missing people, for example, drones can be particularly useful. Because they offer a bird's-eye view and often pass by relatively unnoticed, drones have been influential in locating lost children and conducting successful rescue missions, explained the source.
Tablets are ubiquitous throughout law enforcement agencies these days due to their portability and general usefulness. Computer World reported that one of the main reasons police forces have embraced the technology so much is that it affords them the freedom to be in the community instead of in the office. Because they can input information and access records on-the-go and in real time, officers have more freedom to leave their desks. And when they do encounter issues on patrol, from speeding tickets to major offenses, agents are able to efficiently process all the necessary data while remaining present and active with the investigation.