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Technology on the Job: Scientific Advances Aiding Police Officers on the Street, in the Lab, and in Our Schools (Video)

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2002
0 pages
This video describes technologies that can be used by police and other criminal justice professionals to assist in the performance of their jobs.
The technologies profiled are thermal imaging, geographic information systems, video evidence analysis, interoperability, bullet resistant armor, and DNA evidence. For each of these technologies, an expert provides an overview of the technology's function, followed by a practitioner's description of how the technology is used in the field. For thermal imaging, which provides images of objects and persons that emit heat, the various types of thermal imaging equipment are described, including hand-held and vehicle-mounted thermal imagers. A law enforcement officer describes an occasion in which thermal imaging equipment mounted on a patrol car was used to locate a suspect hiding in woods adjacent to the scene of a crime. Various uses of thermal imaging equipment are listed. A computer technician employed by a police department explains how geographic information system software can be used for various types of police work, including police resource allocation, planning for special events, and analyzing geographic distributions of various types of crime. Video evidence analysis involves technologies that facilitate the analysis of surveillance videotapes or the creation of videos for the presentation of evidence at trial. A prosecutor explains how video technology was used to prove intent to commit murder in a child abuse case. Interoperability encompasses communications technology that facilitates direct communication across agencies through preassigned radio frequencies. The value of this is explained by officers in the field. Field officers explain the value of bullet resistant vests in providing additional protection in circumstances that could otherwise cause serious injury or death. The section of the video that focuses on DNA evidence describes a computer-assisted self-instruction course in the use and collection of DNA evidence by police officers. CODIS, a nationwide database of DNA profiles is also described. The video concludes with an overview of the services provided by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Centers.

Date Published: January 1, 2002