Law Enforcement Technology

MAR 2017

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Discover the Value of Video I n every March issue we feature items with regard to technology on patrol and we report on SHOT Show. I have to admit to very mixed feelings about the issue. On one hand, I absolutely understand the importance and need for the technologies that support us each day when we put on our uniform and go out to serve the community. On the other hand, none of that technology is near as fun or interesting as some of the new equipment (toys?) that I saw at SHOT Show. Staying with what's important to us professionally, the technol- ogy that supports us continues to evolve and develop dependent upon our needs, which are most often defined by insurance com- panies (to manage/reduce liability) and attorneys (because they convince city/county councils what's in their best financial inter- est) and (finally) Chiefs of Police. To date, after all the cry for body worn cameras on every officer after the Ferguson Michael Brown incident and the follow- on riots, far more officers have been exonerated by video captured than officers indicted because of such video. Body cams are a reality that our profession will be living with forever. The value of video as evidence, against suspects or officers, is too great for them to be dismissed. As body cam technology develops to include cameras mounted in different locations and the ability of software to merge video from different angles to create a more accurate representation of reality, the need for them will continue to grow. In a recent survey performed across the law enforcement community, 37 percent of agencies reported using body cameras. Of those agencies that already use body cameras, over half of them have equipped 100 percent of their officers with them. Agencies that either don't already have body cams or have not reached the 100 percent of officers equipped threshold showed a planned increase in body cam usage of 26 percent in the 2017 budget year alone. Body cams are not going away, so get used to the reality and understand the value to us, the officers. Now, the fun stuff: Look for our SHOT Show coverage on pages 8 and 28. There were some truly unique and interesting items revealed by various companies this year. The US Army selected a new handgun; new handguns came into the market; new holsters and other accessories were released (or are scheduled for release this year) and a plethora of new tools that can be used by law enforcement professionals were also released or announced. These "reveals" at SHOT Show are the biggest in the law enforcement indus- try until the IACP conference come this October. Stay safe! E D I T O R 'S L O G 6 LAW ENFORCEMENT TECHNOLOGY MARCH 2017 Frank Borelli Lt. 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