GPS and Its Effect on Police Work
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GPS and Its Effect on Police Work
In the modern age, technology and technological advancement has proved to be an important aspect of life and it forms part of our lifestyle. Technology has enabled us to obtain solution or improve solutions to most of our problems and therefore it is part of our lives. Since crime is a modern world problem, its solution can be through technology. In addition to this, the existing solution to this problem can be improved using technology. "The Global Positioning System, more commonly called GPS, is a constellation of more than two dozen GPS satellites". The GPS technology is one of the most important technologies and therefore it should be installed in all police departments for efficiency and financial benefits.
There are various effects of GPS technology on the police work and the significance of these effects depends on the party involved. However, the police force stands out as the party that gains most benefits. "The United States Department of Defense developed the GPS system after an inspiration for it came during the launch of the first Russian Sputnik in 1957".To begin with, crime is not only a problem to the society but also to the police and therefore there is need for the police force to find sufficient solutions to the problem. A sufficient solution therefore is an accurate solution and the GPS technology enables the police force to trace crime and criminal activities accurately. In particular, the GPS device enables the police to locate places They are more precise than older devices on the earth's surface more accurately independent of the natural effects such as weather and time of the day. With accurate information on a possible scene of crime, the police can move in swiftly and confront the criminals or prevent a criminal activity. Using the GPS system the police are able to locate service calls more precisely and the availability of the system in their vehicles make their work easier (Ferraresi, Azcentral). From this statement, Ferraresi proves that accuracy is important in policing work and that the GPS device provides police officers with the required accuracy in their work. Rick Navarro adds to this by stating that the modern GPS device is more accurate than the former radio devices that police used.
Policing work sometimes is a difficult job and in most cases, the success of the police force depends on the strategies and methods used by the police officers to tackle crime. Arresting criminals is the most common method that the police force apply to tackle crime but the process is not simple. Police officers therefore consider other tactics that make their work easier and safer. Car thieves and hijackers are example of criminals that the police officers can arrest easily using this different approach. Fitting a car with a GPS device acts like bait that the police force can use to arrest criminals and this is possible using the GPS technology. If thieves steal the baited car unknowingly, the police can move in swiftly and accurately and arrest them. In the process, the police work becomes simple and free from risks.
The police are not only responsible for arresting criminals but also have the mandate of preventing crime. In addition to this, the police have the responsibility of ensuring that criminals do not repeat or go back to criminal activity after their release. When considering these responsibilities the police force considers house arrest as a method of preventing further crime and repeated crime. Before the invention of the GPS technology, the police had a difficult time to monitor the activities or movements of a person under house arrest. In addition to that, the police department had to assign each person under house arrest a police officer. Assigning a police officer to each individual under house is a costly and an inefficient method that the police department applied and therefore not sustainable. With the invention of the GPS technology, these problems have a solution. As Moriarty (10) explains that, the GPS technology is an effective tool that the police force applies to monitor people under house arrest or probation. From this statement, it is evident that the police force has the responsibility of monitoring people under probation in order to reduce crime and prevent them from going back to crime and criminal activities. The statement also note that the GPS technology as a modern technology enables the police force to meet its objectives in dealing with cases of probation and house. Using the GPS system to monitor people under probation and house arrest therefore reduces the cost of operation in the police department and the number of officers needed to monitor the criminals. The main objective of keeping criminals under house arrest is to reduce the cost of maintaining the same criminals in prison. The GPS technology save millions annually in law enforcement and prison expenses" (Navarro 8). Cost reduction does not only apply to the immediate operation cost that the police department and police officers pay in maintaining people on probation, but also thorough reduction of overcrowding in prisons.
Success in the work of the police depends on their ability to outshine the criminals and the GPS system has enabled the police force achieve this target. If the police operate with the same equipments as the criminal then it is difficult for the police to succeed in their work. The GPS technology does not only allow the police to locate crime and criminal activities but it also enables them to track or follow the activities of potential or suspected criminals with little or no interference. This is important for the security of the police officer and the police force as an institution. The modern developments on GPS technology enable police to shoot GPS darts on vehicles of suspected criminals for further tracking. This method is used widely in America and in most of the developed world to track criminals and criminal activities. Using this technology, the police avoid interference with the criminals and the results obtained from such investigations are free from any interference. The use of GPS darts also saves the credibility of the police force as an institution in cases where the suspected criminals turn out to be innocent people. In addition to that, the device also prevents unnecessary loss of life either of the police, suspected criminal or a third party. In conclusion, the GPS technology enables the police activities and operations to stand out from those of the criminals or it make the police to outshine the criminals, which help them to be efficient in their work.
Finally, the work of the police officers does not end with the arrest of a criminal or prevention of a criminal activity. Although the police do not participate in sentencing a convict, they have the responsibility of providing the court with the necessary evidence needed in the prosecution process. The police cannot stand as a witness during the prosecution of a suspect if they not have the necessary evidence. Although the judicial officers generally accept most of the methods used by the police to produce evidence in court, they do not have sufficient convincing power. In particular, some methods do not offer evidence on basis of logic and therefore criminals in court can challenge them. Using the GPS system the police can tackle this problem in a situation where they need to produce evidence against a suspect in court. The GPS system not only enables the police to track suspected criminals but it also enables them to keep a record of movements of a suspect. The police can therefore produce this record as evidence in court against a criminal. This method of producing evidence is reliable and logical and therefore criminals cannot easily challenge it. The GPS technology also enables the police officers to provide the court with specific details concerning the criminal such as the time and location. The court can use this information to link the suspect with the crime or use the same information to declare the innocence of the convict. In conclusion, the GPS technology provides the police with sufficient information that they can use to produce the necessary evidence in court.
As a modern technology, application of the GPS technology is in many areas especially the police force. Crime is the main objective or problem faced by the police and the police department and the police have the responsibility of preventing crime. The GPS technology enables the police to respond to crime and crime related activities more accurately and efficiently. In addition to accuracy, the GPS technology enables the police department to reduce the cost of operation and the cost they incur when handling criminal and criminal activities. In particular, the technology makes the police efficient in their operation and outshines criminals by enabling them to have more advanced technology. Finally, the GPS technology makes police officers to be reliable witness in courts by providing them with sufficient information and details.
2. A Police Force without GPS
The modern police and the GPS technology are un-separable and this statement or claim highlights the dependence of the police force on the GPS technology. The statement also indicates that the police force is over-using this technology.(Ferraresi Azcentral) agree with this statement and goes forward to claim that officers are quickly realizing how much they need the GPS technology in their service. From this claim, Ferraresi confirms that the police force neither is over relying on the technology nor used to the technology. The question of whether the police force can do better without the technology and what is next after this technology are controversial questions.
To begin with, the police officers are professionals just as any other professional and therefore they need to build their competence. Just like any other profession, the police need to be creative in solving or carrying out their duties. The only way the police force can acquire the necessary creativity is through practice and experience and they can only achieve this by reducing overreliance on technology. This implies that their overreliance on GPS technology reduces their creativity.
Technology is not constant, it changes with time, and this applies to the GPS technology. Any change in the technology makes the previous knowledge that the police had on the technology irrelevant and they waste unnecessary recourses and time to study the new ideas. Changes in the GPS technology can also be directly against the police force and their operation. An example of this can occur in a situation where criminals have the ability to manipulate or access the GPS system. The GPS technology exposes the police and their activities to criminals and provides them with an extra task.
Ferraresi, Michael. GPS System Will Make Police Officers' Jobs Easier, Safer. Azcentral.com. Oct. 7, 2005. Web. December 2, 2011. Print
Moriarty, Laura. Criminal Justice Technology in the 21st Century. Illinois: Challes C Thomas Publishers, 2005. Print.
Navarro, Bob. The Era of Change. New York: Xliblis Corporation, 2006. Print.