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future trends in policing 2014


42 FUTURE TRENDS IN POLICING Conclusion: Some of the Details are Unclear, but the Future of Policing Looks Good It seems undeniable that police departments today are changing more rapidly than at any time in history. As recently as the 1950s or 1960s, police generally saw their mission as (1) responding to calls for service and (2) investigating crimes. And for most of the 20th century, many years would go by without any significant improvements in the technologies used by local police departments. Today, police departments are far more complex than they were a generation or two ago. They still respond to calls for service, and they still investigate crimes, but that is where the similarities end. At the most fundamental level, police have expanded their mission, taking on the goal of preventing crime and reducing crime rates, rather than merely responding after crimes are committed. Today’s best police departments are always looking for ways to be proactive instead of reactive. And they have succeeded in this broader mission. Nationwide, violent crime rates are roughly half of what they were in the early 1990s. 39 Police departments have achieved these goals in large part by deploying an endless array of new strategies and new technologies, such as: • Community policing • Problem-oriented policing • CompStat • Hot spots policing • Crime mapping • Predictive analytics • Intelligence-led policing • Closed-circuit video cameras, dash cams, and body cameras • Automated license plate readers • Gunshot detection systems • Wireless transmission of nearly any type of data imaginable • GPS devices to track suspects • Sharing of information • Regional task forces to address gun crime, drug crime, and other issues • Partnerships with the community, the private sector, and corporations/businesses • Social media 39.

Conclusion 43 There is no doubt that this overall trend—police agencies expanding their mission and using new strategies and technologies in a proactive way to achieve success—will continue. In fact, the trend almost certainly will accelerate in coming years. It is difficult to predict the exact outcomes of all these changes, because the field of policing is just beginning to scratch the surface of what is possible. And there are major unknown

future trends in policing 2014
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