Robots, apps, and high-tech cameras – the future of policing is already here

Police forces are adopting new technologies to boost officers’ productivity and combat crime. 
The Columbus Police Mobile App is designed to expand connectivity between the community and the police.
To save money and better serve citizens, the city of Basel in Switzerland is adding Tesla Model X vehicles to its fleet.
AI surveillance cameras will enable Riverbank’s police force to do more with less. 
The Kerala State Police in India introduced a humanoid robot called KP-Bot to greet visitors and guide them inside police headquarters.

Technology is advancing faster than ever, and it’s changed almost every aspect of our lives. Automation has particularly disrupted the nature of work and will continue to do so in the future. Though the public is worried about tech replacing human jobs, most professions consider technology as a supplement to the human workforce, rather than a replacement. This is especially true for the law enforcement sector, which is undergoing a major change and adopting cutting-edge solutions to fight crime more efficiently. Police agencies, eager to embrace an array of tech-enhanced tools, will certainly benefit from it in various ways. Besides helping them protect citizens, advanced tech could also eliminate a lot of hidden dangers that come with working as a police officer. 

 

The Columbus Division of Police released an app to boost public safety in the city 

The Columbus Division of Police launched the Columbus Police Mobile App to expand connectivity between the community and the police. As Thomas Quinlan, the Deputy Chief of the Columbus police department, explains, “We want to offer our community the best in technology and access, and that means making Columbus Police services and information available to mobile users.” Using the app, citizens can view alerts and news from the police, or submit anonymous crime tips in real time. The officials believe that this solution will boost public safety in the city. The app is available for free and can be downloaded from the iOS App Store and Google Play Marketplace.

 

Police departments are adding electric cars to their fleets

Apps, of course, aren’t the only tool that could make police work more efficient. With improved mobility, police officers will be able to better serve their citizens. This is why some police agencies are opting for electric vehicles that are beneficial on many levels. For instance, by replacing traditional diesel vehicles with cleaner electric cars, police departments could help the environment and save a lot of money on fuel at the same time. For this reason, the police department in the Swiss city of Basel bought three Tesla Model X vehicles, while four more vehicles will enter into service later in 2019. 

 

The city of Riverbank is installing high-tech surveillance cameras to help police forces do more with less

Implementing police technology is also a great way for cities that suffer from police shortages to boost their existing workforce. This is why the city of Riverbank in California installed high-tech cameras developed by the security company Intellisite. Riverbank has around 0.74 sworn deputies for every 1,000 residents, and installing these cameras could “help offset this imbalance so they can do more with less”. Unlike traditional cameras that can record footage for officers to later analyse, Intellisite’s surveillance cameras can identify a staggering 300,000 patterns of human behaviour, detect when crime is committed, and track the offender’s vehicle. Moreover, this innovation is equipped with a two-way audio system, through which a police officer can speak to the offender.  

 

A humanoid robotic cop has been deployed at the Kerala Police headquarters 

Robotics and automation are probably some of the biggest disruptors in today’s workforce, and though they’re still not very common in law enforcement, some police departments have already started employing robots. For instance, the Kerala State Police in India introduced a humanoid robot into the state police force, and as India Today reports, it “has become the first in the country to use a robot for police work”. 

The robot, called KP-Bot, will meet and greet visitors at Kerala’s police headquarters and guide them to appropriate areas in the building. KP-Bot will also collect information about visitors to manage appointments and provide them with accurate information on procedures related to police services. And thanks to AI sensors, it can collect information about its surroundings and is able to work safely alongside humans. To make KP-Bot even safer and more efficient, there are plans to equip it with additional sensors and facial recognition technology. 

 

The future of crime-fighting technology

Implementing technology has long been touted as a way of making police forces more efficient. With so many innovative solutions on the market, it wouldn’t make sense for the police not to make use of it. Technology such as mobile apps, AI cameras, and robots are giving police forces new capabilities and helping them better fight crime. Though the adoption of cutting-edge tech is still in the early stages, rising crime rates will force many police departments to consider introducing innovation into their work.

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