How Is Technology Making Law Enforcement Safer?

For police officers, keeping the peace and preventing crime is a never-ending challenge. It takes a collaborative effort from each police officer and his or her team to get through each shift. Having the right equipment is not only limited to weapons and protective gear but also communication. It also involves having sufficient non-lethal options for self-defense and apprehending suspects.


The ability to communicate clearly is a valuable skill that every police officer needs. There is help, however, in the form of new technologies that officers didn’t have in the 20th century. The concept of advanced communications technology for police officers is nothing new, but new 5G technologies will improve the efficiency of communication systems dramatically. However, not every piece of electronic communication equipment police will be using in 2020 and beyond will need cell phone infrastructure to function.

For example, police radio systems like the new IC-SAT100 by Icom is a handheld radio that provides each officer global communication capabilities at the push of a button. These are satellite radios that can be used just as effectively in areas where there is little to no cell phone network infrastructure to carry the signals. These could include rural areas, mountainous regions, and remote islands.

Non-Lethal Options

Sometimes, just the fact that a police officer is wearing a uniform is enough to deter crime. When the use of force is necessary, it doesn’t always need to be of the deadly variety. Police officers have non-lethal options, which include a baton, taser, and pepper spray. These are effective for controlling mentally ill, unarmed, and lightly-armed individuals that don’t present as serious threats.

It’s safer to follow the proper protocol for managing tasers and other non-lethal weapons, but these regulations are not uniform across all police agencies. The new Taser 7 that the Daytona Beach Police Department officers were given in 2019 didn’t go to every police officer in the country. It takes specialized training to handle such powerful, yet non-lethal, defense equipment. These tasers have a range of about 25-feet, making it easier to incapacitate subjects at a greater distance.

Recognizing Suspects

A police officer can now spot his or her suspect from within a crowd using new facial recognition technology. Cameras have already been mounted on most traffic light signals in inner-cities and metropolitan areas. New 5G technology will make facial recognition technology a part of everyday life.

While there has been some controversy concerning privacy, facial recognition technology continues to be developed. Concerns have been raised by activists about the possible abuse of this technology. It will take carefully crafted government regulations and specialized preventative measures to keep this from happening.

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