TO THE EDITOR: The Police Executive Research Forum (April, 2011) published the responses of 70 police agencies to a questionnaire about their use of technology.
Pierce County updated their technology for the expressed purpose of improved communications.
Seventy percent of responding police agencies said they use predictive policing techniques like crime-mapping software and sortable historical data. Ninety percent said they plan to increase their use in the next five years.
Seventy-one percent of agencies use in-car video recording. Forty-six percent use wireless video streaming for investigative purposes, traffic stops, officer safety and accountability.
Twenty-three percent of agencies use video streaming from fixed cameras to police vehicles. That was two years ago and the respondents projected 81 percent would have this technology within five years.
Seventy-one percent of agencies use license plate readers and 85 percent planned to acquire or increase the use of license plate readers in the next five years.
Eighty-three percent of agencies use GPS to track suspects and 80 percent planned to increase the use of GPS.
Eighty-nine percent of agencies use social media, like Face Book and Twitter, to identify investigative leads. Fifty-seven percent of agencies have had issues, disputes or controversies related to employees' personal postings on social media sites. Thirteen agencies disciplined one or more employee for infractions.
Sen. Tom Coburn published a report (December, 2012) detailing wasteful Department of Homeland Security spending at numerous local police departments.
The $7.1 billion program, intended to fight terrorism, provided Michigan with 13 sno-cone machines, a $98,000 underwater robot for Columbus, Ohio, and an armored vehicle for a small N.H. town, to patrol their Pumpkin Festival.
Pierce County taxpayers recently employed new ad-hoc committee members and an expert to convince residents to build a new jail. Could we get some sno-cone machines too?