The National Employee Survey for Law Enforcement reveals that officers consider technology and training to be one of the top concerns in their departments. Nationwide, 95% of officers responded that their main concern was law enforcement training in areas such as de-escalation techniques, crisis resolution, and mental health management, and 89% said that technology, such as drones and less-lethal weaponry, was their second priority. Officers believe that technology will not only improve their policing ability but also mitigate their taxing workload. Technology is transforming our world, and the field of law enforcement is no exception. As innovations arise, agencies must introduce new technologies as well as train officers how to use them properly and effectively.
Let's discuss a few reasons technology and training rank so highly among law enforcement officers’ concerns.
Staying a Step Ahead of Criminals
Technology evolves at a blistering pace. The latest high-tech systems may give law enforcement agencies the edge, but sooner or later, criminals find ways of getting around them. To make effective technology purchasing decisions, department leaders must understand the latest technology so they can determine which innovations will provide them the greatest tangible benefits over time.
Improving Officer Safety
Because law enforcement is among the most dangerous jobs in the nation, protecting officer safety is essential. The right technology and training can help departments keep their officers safe. For example, autonomous vehicles can allow officers to maintain situational awareness without the dangers that ordinarily accompany distracted driving, and drones can be used to do some jobs that would be highly dangerous for officers. In fact, a remote-controlled robot helped officers capture of the Boston Marathon bomber. Without its assistance, more officers might have lost their lives. With the right training, technological advances like these and many others could make police work safer than ever before.
Enhancing Public Safety
Public safety is a law enforcement agency’s ultimate goal. Officers don't wear their badges just to put criminals away but to make sure we can all enjoy relative peace and safety. As such, de-escalation training has become a huge concern for many officers across the nation. To ensure officers gain the skills and understanding needed to handle emotionally tense interactions, it’s critical to be able to effectively manage, track, and analyze the results of department training programs.
Technology is helping officers identify threats in several ways:
- Facial recognition and AI-enabled body expression reading may help officers identify people who may pose a danger to the public.
- Automatic license plate recognition helps officers spot individuals with warrants out for their arrest.
- Infrared imaging can help officers investigate dark or dimly lit spaces.
New technologies can help officers perform their jobs with better accuracy and efficiency. This is a huge bonus to public safety, where split-second decisions can have far-reaching consequences. However, these technologies require training. Keeping police departments up-to-date and technologically competent is an investment in their future.
Providing Comprehensive Training for Officers
Technology is playing an ever-increasing role in law enforcement agencies. Departments must stay ahead of the curve with the latest technology and provide the proper training to use it effectively.
Orion provides cloud-based workforce management software for law enforcement that includes the administration, scheduling and tracking of officer training results. As a centralized solution, this saves time and increases efficiencies for officers and training administrators alike.