Police Technology
Chapter Six
A Brief History of Police
Technology
Copyright 2005 - 2009: Hi Tech Criminal
Justice, Raymond E. Foster
Learning Objectives
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Explore the development of police
technology against the backgrounds of the
policing models – political, professional,
and community based models
Expand understanding of tactical and
strategic information by looking at how
technology changed the nature of
fingerprint evidence
Copyright 2005 - 2009: Hi Tech Criminal
Justice, Raymond E. Foster
Learning Objectives
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
Understand the difference between
policy and procedure and look at how
technology may impact policy and
procedure
Further explore fragmentation and the
market-place.
Copyright 2005 - 2009: Hi Tech Criminal
Justice, Raymond E. Foster
Introduction
Look at history of technology two ways:
 What happened and consequences of new
technologies
 Following a specific piece of
information that has been
critical to solving crimes for
more than one hundred years
(fingerprinting)
Copyright 2005 - 2009: Hi Tech Criminal
Justice, Raymond E. Foster
Police Technology in Time
Most CJ scholars divide the history of
American policing into three eras:
 Political
 Professional
 Community Oriented
Copyright 2005 - 2009: Hi Tech Criminal
Justice, Raymond E. Foster
Political Policing Era
Photograph provided by Cultural Tourism DC.
Most police forces
established in the late
19th century consisted or
men who had been
appointed for limited terms
by local Politicians.
 Patronage – an officer’s
primary source of
information came from
the people who lived in
the community or their
beat
Copyright 2005 - 2009: Hi Tech Criminal
Justice, Raymond E. Foster
Professional Policing
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Government and policing
evolved out of the
patronage system into a
civil service system.
Prized hierarchy,
centralization rules, and
standards became the
professional policing
model.
Control of day-to-day
operations from politics to
professional police
managers.
Copyright 2005 - 2009: Hi Tech Criminal
Justice, Raymond E. Foster
Technology impacting the model
Through the 1950s and 1960s, the idea that
police supervisors and managers should
control the production of service began to
take hold.
 Supervisors and managers began to count
the numbers of calls for service an officer
handled
 Timed how fast he arrived at the scene of
a call
Copyright 2005 - 2009: Hi Tech Criminal
Justice, Raymond E. Foster
“You get what you count. . .”
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Officer were not walking the community
any longer
They were evaluated on the number of
calls they handled and
How fast they got to the call.
Copyright 2005 - 2009: Hi Tech Criminal
Justice, Raymond E. Foster
Incident Driven Policing
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Photograph provided by Gary Allen, 9-1-1 Dispatch Magazine
Through the 1970s there
continued to be a reliance
on what was to be seen
as incident-driven
policing.
The advent of the
computer made it
possible to organize and
review this information on
incidents and response.
The development of 9-1-1
only added to the police
ability to handle
incidents.
Copyright 2005 - 2009: Hi Tech Criminal
Justice, Raymond E. Foster
Incident Driven Policing
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As officers judged on the
number of calls they
handled rose through the
ranks, the concept of
professionalism
increased.
police managers did not
rely on community input
The idea that the police
were the professionals
who knew best,
responded quickly, and
handled incidents became
organizationally
entrenched.
Photograph provided by Robert Eplett, California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services
Copyright 2005 - 2009: Hi Tech Criminal
Justice, Raymond E. Foster
Incident Driven Policing
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The professional model and the
technology changed the relationship
between the police and the community
This introduced a new problem of the
growing distance between police
officers and the communities they
served.
Copyright 2005 - 2009: Hi Tech Criminal
Justice, Raymond E. Foster
Community Oriented Policing
Founded on two social science theories:
 Normative Sponsorship Theory – Most
people are good. People will work
together if the goal is within the normal
standards of the community.
 Critical Social Theory – Looks at the way
the community comes together to analyze
a problem that is preventing the
attainment of their goals or needs.
Copyright 2005 - 2009: Hi Tech Criminal
Justice, Raymond E. Foster
Problem Oriented Policing
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Shares many of the same characteristics
of community-oriented policing.
Concentrates on situational crime
prevention.
Looks at the community of the problem.
The Definition of “community” would shift
as problems were solved (versus static
geographic communities).
Copyright 2005 - 2009: Hi Tech Criminal
Justice, Raymond E. Foster
Technology’s Impact on Policing
Style
Political Model
Professional Model
Incident Driven
Technology
Copyright 2005 - 2009: Hi Tech Criminal
Justice, Raymond E. Foster
Changing the Value of
Information

The increasing ability
to obtain, organize,
analyze and recall
information has
increased its value
Copyright 2005 - 2009: Hi Tech Criminal
Justice, Raymond E. Foster
Changing the Value of
Information
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One of the earliest applications of science
to criminal investigation is fingerprint
classification.
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Visible – left by touching a substance before
touching a surface (e.g., blood on a counter)
Latent – hidden fingerprints left behind by the
natural oils from our hands. (Best obtained
when surface is clean, dry, smooth and nonporous.)
Copyright 2005 - 2009: Hi Tech Criminal
Justice, Raymond E. Foster
Changing the Value of
Information
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At the beginning of
the 20th Century
fingerprints were
routinely taken from
offenders and the
cards stored.
At this time, for a
match each print
must be compared
against millions of
cards
Copyright 2005 - 2009: Hi Tech Criminal
Justice, Raymond E. Foster
Changing the Value of
Information

At first, systems of classification enable
fingerprint specialist to narrow the search
from millions of cards to thousands – but
still a hand search and analysis
The computer enabled the automation of
the process.
Copyright 2005 - 2009: Hi Tech Criminal
Justice, Raymond E. Foster
Automated Fingerprint
Identification System
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The process of analyzing fingerprints is
dactylography.
Software used sophisticated and complex
algorithms to recognize and compare
minutiae. However;
Computer processing speeds were slow
Hardware and software to store the
information had not yet been developed
Copyright 2005 - 2009: Hi Tech Criminal
Justice, Raymond E. Foster
National Crime Information
Center
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NCIC organized in 1967 by the FBI to
handle fingerprints cards and requests for
comparison.
Began to incorporate criminal histories and
correlate them to offender fingerprint
cards on file.
Medium of transmission was U.S. mail and
eventually fax.
Copyright 2005 - 2009: Hi Tech Criminal
Justice, Raymond E. Foster
Automated Fingerprint
Identification System
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Local agencies forged ahead developing
their own applications similar to NCIC
creating fragmentation
AFIS technology began to be used
routinely especially in the investigation of
cold cases.
1999 – the FBI launched IAFIS and made
available nationwide the fingerprints of 33
million criminals.
Copyright 2005 - 2009: Hi Tech Criminal
Justice, Raymond E. Foster
Automated Fingerprint
Identification System
Digital scanning – obtains
an image on the fingerprint,
examines and compares.
 Capacitance scanning – uses a
charged coupled device (CCD)
 Optical Scanning – light
source illuminates the
suspect’s fingertips
Photograph provided by Cross Match Technologies, Inc.
Copyright 2005 - 2009: Hi Tech Criminal
Justice, Raymond E. Foster
Automated Fingerprint
Identification System
Differences are important for two
reasons:
 Capacitance scanner does not contain the
CCD and is more readily miniaturized
 Capacitance scanner is actually taking
measurements and is not easily fooled.
Copyright 2005 - 2009: Hi Tech Criminal
Justice, Raymond E. Foster
NCIC 200

NCIC 2000 promises
to take fingerprint
technology into the
field
Photograph provided by Cross Match Technologies, Inc.
Copyright 2005 - 2009: Hi Tech Criminal
Justice, Raymond E. Foster
Policy and Procedure
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Procedures are a set of instructions on
how to do something.
Policy is a broad statement on how
things should be done – how we want
human beings to exercise judgment.
Copyright 2005 - 2009: Hi Tech Criminal
Justice, Raymond E. Foster
Fragmentation
The nature of United States
Law enforcement has
caused policies, procedures
and technology to develop
different from agency to
agency.
Copyright 2005 - 2009: Hi Tech Criminal
Justice, Raymond E. Foster
Fragmentation
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17,000 state and local law enforcement
agencies.
Different community expectations and
standards
Difference equipment acquisitions
according to size of budget
Expertise develops at different rates
Copyright 2005 - 2009: Hi Tech Criminal
Justice, Raymond E. Foster
Fragmentation

Fragmentation –
policy, procedure and
technology – causes
problems whenever
agencies must or
should work together
Photograph provided by Robert Eplett, California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services
Copyright 2005 - 2009: Hi Tech Criminal
Justice, Raymond E. Foster
Police Technology
Explore Military Books at
www.military-writers.com
Copyright 2005 - 2009: Hi Tech Criminal
Justice, Raymond E. Foster

A Brief History of Police Technology