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Use of Information Technologies in Modern Policing Operations

Information technology in policing is used in crime scenes to collect real-time data. It is also outside the crime scene to store, analyze and retrieve data. In such cases where this technology stores retrievable information, it can be used to determine areas with high crime rates and how to solve them through more police deployment among other methods. Such forms of information technology used in policing include; crime analysis, use of the internet, social media, policing, and Geographic Information system.

Crime analysis is the analytical process that provides timely information about specific crime trends and patterns. It involves a quality examination of forensic evidence and victimology among other crime scene characteristics. It provides a proper understanding of crime signature behaviors, motive, criminal profile, and evidence of crime scene staging. Crime analysis is crucial in ensuring that quality information is distributed in the police department since it provides the approach and attack methods, location, nature of the crime, materials used, signature behavior, and evidence of skill (Javed, 2022). Through the adequate distribution of police data, police operations and administration has been improved. Information technology in crime analysis has also improved police satisfaction. The technology used in crime analysis includes big data where DNA and fingerprint are stored to easily identify suspects. Rapid identification systems enable the police to find the criminal history of the suspect through a simple search. Detection and monitoring devices such as surveillance cameras, drones, and license plate scanning enable quick detection and solving of criminal activities.

The geographical information system provides the police and the community with maps that are useful in engaging security initiatives. It is a system that creates, analyzes, and maps all kinds of information. GIS is used in geospatial criminology to locate criminals and confirm their alibis. The use of GIS has also enabled the police system to identify high-risk areas in various neighborhoods. The use of GIS today in police daily operations has enabled the police department to identify crime patterns and solve them, create awareness to the public about crime concerns, identify rime risk factors and develop crime prevention strategies. Major crime-fighting agencies such as the CIA, FBI, and Homeland Security heavily rely on GIS to conduct their operations and investigations. Geographical information technology has also created job opportunities for people who can operate the technology.

Social media creates a way for the police department to connect with the public. This, therefore, facilitates trust between the police and civilians since the police department gets a chance to build a better relationship through engagement and efficient collection of information and intelligence. Social media is currently pretty universal now and the police need to develop a positive relationship to ensure the agency benefits from it. Social media can also get police agencies into sticky positions and should therefore be used wisely (Swanson, 1988). Police officers should therefore be careful in even how they use their private social media accounts. They should also be keen when starting campaigns or establishing hashtags. Qualified media personnel should be appointed to manage police social media accounts and outlined guidelines should be followed. Propper analysis should be done before such activities to ensure they don’t fail and reflect badly on the agencies. The police department can release information through social media to create control over their reputation. For example, social media can be used to clear a rumor and provide clarity for the public. Social media can also help police agencies to gather tips and investigate criminal activities. For example, the police have been using social media to track down a suspect through public help.

The police department uses the internet to provide information so the public knows what the police are up against. The Internet of Things is composed of devices that connect to the internet which could be video or audio, a fitness tracker, or even a lock appliance (Apthorpe, 2018). These devices are installed in various locations to identify the position of a suspect and their actions. This, therefore, helps the police to gather evidence from many sources. Body-worn video and audio devices help the police to record incident actions. It also helps increase police accountability through improving police behavior which increases public confidence. Internet of Things powered firearms collect crucial evidence in case of lethal use of force through recording how and when the firearm was used. There are also data-driven approaches that help the police to predict and therefore prevent crime. Surveillance devices such as drones provide more efficient services when equipped with cameras. Facial recognition and biometrics software are used by police agencies to identify suspects and people they have been in contact with. The internet generally provides better information sharing and collection to reduce exertions and promote better decision-making in the police department.


Apthorpe, N., Shvartzshnaider, Y., Mathur, A., Reisman, D., & Feamster, N. (2018). Discovering smart home internet of things privacy norms using contextual integrity. Proceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies2(2), 1-23.

Javed, A. R., Ahmed, W., Alazab, M., Jalil, Z., Kifayat, K., & Gadekallu, T. R. (2022). A Comprehensive Survey on Computer Forensics: State-of-the-art, Tools, Techniques, Challenges, and Future Directions. IEEE Access.

Swanson, C. R., Territo, L., & Taylor, R. W. (1988). Police administration: Structures, processes, and behavior. New York: Macmillan.


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