Challenges of Emerging Technology: Beyond the Technology Itself

With the rapid evolution of various technologies, law enforcement leaders have found themselves barraged with a constant stream of innovative technology tools, all of which are designed to improve crime fighting. It is a daunting task to remain informed about what really works and what does not.


Finding a so-called better mouse trap has faced each generation of police leaders. The creation of new tools has always been aimed at serious issues for public officials including officer safety, public protection, operational efficiencies, cost containment, recruitment and retention benefits, and so on. Over the decades, the so-called hard technologies (e.g., cars, guns, vests, less-lethal weapons, restraints, and barriers) have been the tools requiring constant evaluation. These tools have varying degrees of value to officers and their organizations.