The Police Chief Update
October Issue
As culture, society, and communities around the globe evolve, so does crime—and, thus, policing, too, must evolve. It’s impossible to predict exactly what law enforcement will look like in 20 years, but there are sure to be changes in key areas such as data and information management, education and training, high-priority crimes, and community services. This issue explores potential challenges and opportunities for law enforcement as it looks ahead at the next 20 years.
Predicting the future is like trying to peer inside a black hole: no one can see what’s inside until one has passed the point of no return—the “event horizon” in astronomy terms. It stands to reason that human beings are compelled to wait for the future to become the present before they can understand it. Law enforcement agencies might not be able to see what’s over the horizon, but they can certainly prepare for what might lie ahead through a greater appreciation of the evolving interplay between society and technology.
The year 2037 is a scant 20 years away—in that very brief period of time, demographic and technological shifts will impact how police departments do business. People continue to move into cities, including megacities with populations of more than 10 million. This population shift, along with the rapid advance of technology, will result in a complicated set of challenges that law enforcement will have to negotiate if it is to be successful in this future state.
The convergence of “smarter” technology and virtual reality simulations will change the law enforcement training landscape in the next 20 years. Driven by better data analytics and artificial intelligence, education and training in all fields and contexts have the potential to become highly individualized. However, there is still value in time spent in a pre-service academy experience, especially in intangible elements such as socialization, acculturation, and the development of a professional identity.

The Year in Review: You Spoke, We Listened
Criminal Refusal of Chemical Tests
Portable Lasers Could Be the Future of Forensic Investigations
Access the Latest Tools in This Month’s Police Chief Magazine
Laser Tech
The new TruVision™ is designed to point and shoot with the AdapTec™ feature automatically adjusting the focus and iris. The 60% increase in range along with HD video ensures confidence that every image is completely indisputable. Learn more.

Discover Policing Career Center is the official job board of the IACP and a nationwide police recruitment resource. Visit for more information.

City of Aventura, Aventura, Florida
Lenexa Police Department, Lenexa, Kansas
Sarasota Police Department, Sarasota, Florida

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