One of the advantages of such systems is that they would enable police officers to respond more proactively to incidents of crime or to the prevention of crime. They would also enable police departments to ensure that there are enough policemen in the workforce to ensure peace and order within the community. On the other hand, the disadvantages would include invasion of the victims’ privacy and the policemen’s abuse of the privilege. For example, it may lead to illegal or unnecessary arrests. As well, it would be necessary for such systems to be updated frequently as outdated information may lead to the wrong people being arrested or to crime scenes or hot spots being missed. However, with the complexity of collecting and sorting data for such systems, keeping them updated may prove to be very challenging.
I don’t think it’s possible to have too much technology because while the police force continues to develop ways to better fight crimes, criminals are also devising newer way to efficiently commit their crimes. As such, it’s only right that law enforcers strive to continue developing more advanced ways to respond to crimes. However, it is possible that with all this technology, we can become so engrossed in it that the initial purpose for the technology is forgotten. In particular, such systems can make law enforcers feel more powerful than the victims, the criminals, or the community in general, which may lead them to misuse and abuse such power.
I think that the main problem with police departments constantly embracing the latest technological tools is that such tools won’t easily be implemented. Aside from the financial costs, the actual implementation would take a lot of time and resources. After the new system is implemented, the police officers who will use the system will need to be trained. Moreover, it might even require a change in organizational culture or organizational processes, which will take a lot of time and effort. As such, if the police department would constantly go through such changes then these might take away time and resources that the policemen should instead be using on doing actual police work.
Dunham, Roger G. and Alpert, Geoffrey P. (2010) Critical Issues in Policing, 6th Edition,
Waveland Press: Long Grove, IL. ISBN 1-57766-622-4 and ISBN 978-1-57766-622-6