U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NIJ's Role in Detection and Surveillance Technologies

Date Published
August 29, 2012

Lawful detection and surveillance are essential components of criminal justice practice. Detection can mean looking for illicit things concealed on or in people or in the surrounding environment. Surveillance means watching spaces, people, activities and movement for unlawful activities. A growing number of technologies can assist in detection and surveillance efforts.

Detection and surveillance technologies help to protect the public and ensure officer safety. Criminal justice practitioners use detection and surveillance technologies to manage and monitor crime scenes and to keep prisons, courts, schools and public areas safe. They are also used for Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) operations.

To address technology needs in the criminal justice community, NIJ funds research and development of new detection and surveillance devices following a rigorous research, development, testing and evaluation process in which practitioners identify current detection and surveillance needs in the field.

NIJ connects law enforcement with technologists who create new devices to meet these needs.

NIJ funds the development and evaluation of tools that are standardized, affordable, reliable, interoperable, safe, and easy to install, use and maintain. Criminal justice agencies then test and troubleshoot new devices in real-world scenarios.

Date Published: August 29, 2012