Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Battle Tested Information Technology Applied to Local Law Enforcement

Sheriff's deputies to get battlefield-tested technology (Los Angeles Times)
At a total cost to taxpayers of $20 million, Raytheon Co. promises to deliver technology that will enable deputies on the road to sort through key intelligence information in mere seconds, where it once took hours or days. In a single roadside stop, they'll have the ability to run a background check using a searchable FBI database — or pull up a suspect's mug shots or even obtain biometric data, such as fingerprints — on the spot.

Technology once reserved for analysts in sheriff's stations is being taken by deputies as they investigate crime scenes, chase down suspects and answer calls for help as the need for on-the-spot data becomes more urgent in sprawling urban areas.
Technology finding its way from distant battlefields and into our everyday lives is nothing new, and with cuts to the U.S. military budget widely predicted, it shouldn't be surprising that the companies who have developed all sorts of information technology for use in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would seek to sell those products into new markets.

Technology that improves efficiency for local law enforcement organizations may get a lot more attention if the budget cuts expected by the Defense Dept. begin to confront big city police departments like the LAPD in Los Angeles.