The speaker at the Febrary 22 dinner meeting of the Vandalia Lions Club was Lion Doug Knight, Vandalia’s Chief Of Police. Drawing on 47 years of police work, he discussed technological advances that have provided more effective law enforcement.
The long list of capabilities that didn’t exist 47 years ago includes internet communication and cloud data storage, various forms of phones, in-car computers, GPS, License plate reading, less lethal weapons such as tasers and bean bags, DNA, automated fingerprint ID, radar and laster speed and distance measurement, robots; drones, and traffic cameras.
Car and body cameras are also important tools, but include some concerns regarding use of the information including privacy issues; release of footage and appropriate editing; and maintenance and storage. There is also the question of whether to handle techology in-house or hire a maintenance firm. While not a big problem in Vandalia yet, some other departments are considering hiring a separate officer.
Knight said the bottom line is that technology has given law enforcement a means to better serve the public.
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