Reports Look at Law Enforcement Technology Needs

Advances in technology can improve the safety and effectiveness of the criminal justice system, especially for law enforcement agencies. To support agencies’ using new technology, NIJ supports a broad research portfolio to ensure technology is efficient, adequate and accessible. Two new publications — produced by the RAND Corporation on behalf of NIJ’s Information and Geospatial Technologies Center of Excellence — look at what technologies law enforcement agencies need today and what that technology could look like in the future. By identifying where technology could help solve law enforcement challenges, we aim to improve their ability to prevent and respond to crime and to keep our communities safe.

 “High-Priority Information Technology Needs for Law Enforcement” groups 11 high-priority IT needs for law enforcement into three broad categories: “a need to improve the law enforcement community’s knowledge of technology and practices; a need to improve the sharing and use of information relevant to law enforcement; and a need to conduct research, development, testing, and evaluation (RDT&E).” The report can be downloaded here.

“Visions of Law Enforcement Technology in the Period 2024-2034: Report of the Law Enforcement Futuring Workshop” presents information from a workshop held April 2014 that “explored the range of possible future law enforcement methods and operations that may be enabled by technological developments and applications over the next two decades. These same technological developments and applications may also spawn new criminal methods and behaviors. The workshop’s objective was to explore a range of futures that could be desirable or undesirable from the perspective of the balance between law enforcement and criminal offenders.” You can download the report here.
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Court Case Update

FINGERPRINT EVIDENCE went through a nearly three-year ordeal in the New Hampshire court system, but eventually emerged unscathed. On April 4, 2008, the New Hampshire Supreme Court unanimously reversed the decision of a lower court to exclude expert testimony regarding fingerprint evidence in the case of The State of New Hampshire v. Richard Langill. The case has been remanded back to the Rockingham County Superior Court.