Future of Policing
The future of policing in America is a topic that gives rise to some serious concerns. Two trends in particular have been worrisome in recent years: the increasing militarization of police forces, and the use of excessive force. The continuing controversy surrounding mostly white police forces tasked with protecting and serving largely African American neighborhoods also has many pundits wondering about the exact future of policing.
After the 9/11 attacks, police forces across America have been the recipients of sophisticated, military-grade hardware. These grants have led to questions regarding the tactics being employed by departments. What was supposed to service to the community has become aggressive law enforcement, in both weaponry and tactics, which may have contributed to the increasing number of police shootings and deaths as the result of excessive force.
A second trend in the future of policing is the employment of technology. In addition to the ubiquity of CCTV cameras placed in public areas, body cameras worn by the police are enabling greater transparency in policing. Hand-held technologies are also set to transform the future of policing, with items such as notebook-size computers allowing officers to immediately run background checks on suspects, checking such vital records as outstanding warrants or criminal records without having to return to their patrol vehicles.