Automated police technology has most typically been seen in our society in the forms of the red light camera, automated speed enforcements systems, and closed circuit television systems. Each system has a particular task for which it performs and in turn has enabled police officers to ignore such duties in order to focus their efforts on more pressing matters. In theory each system performs a particular task, quite efficiently and relatively cheaply, however without any remorse or discretion. Supporters of such systems argue that “if you don’t do anything wrong, then you have nothing to fear” . Opposition to automated police systems argue that “they operate without remorse or care for intent of crime” and negate a critical aspect of the relationship of law enforcement and the public, discretion . Opposition of automated systems also argue the intent of it’s use, which is solely for revenue generation it creates for local governments. Both sides, in support and opposition to automated police technology, have valid arguments and claims to it’s use in our society. Due to this, both sides have seen victory and defeat throughout our nation in the implementation and banning of such technology. In Los Angeles, supporters of automated police technology saw a huge victory when the city announced plans to double the use of such systems within the city . In the state of Indiana, the use of automated police systems was deemed immoral and solely for purpose of generating revenue with little concern for public safety . Due to such findings the use of automated police systems in the state of Indiana have been banned .
While the controversy concerning the use of this police technology continues, can promise in this police technology be seen? I absolutely believe automated police systems have an immensely beneficial use in the field of law enforcement, however the intent of local governments and law enforcement agencies needs to be regulated. Additionally, comes the concerns regarding the discretion that automated systems lack. The intent of local governments and law enforcement agencies can surely be determined and regulated far easier than the issue of automated system discretion, but there is truth and concern to be answered in both concerns. As the state of Indiana determined, if automated police systems are not primarily intended to better public safety they have no place in the field of law enforcement. For seeking to earn additional funds from our hard working society by any means necessary is immoral and unethical, two characteristics law enforcement should never encompass. This leaves the concern of discretion, or the lack thereof in relation to automated police systems. Unfortunately, this is an issue I feel not only is unsolvable with today’s technology, it is so due to the immense resources it would require. With no clear resolution to this issue we must determine if the benefits automated systems yield worth this current dilemma, one that I confidently believe will be solved in time. Automated police systems yield one important benefit that is easily overlooked by the general public in that they do not personally see such benefits. But automated police systems decrease the work load of law enforcement officers nationwide, without completely ignoring an aspect of law enforcement. Thus still addressing an issue while enabling police officers to focus efforts on issues not only more important to public safety but enabling law enforcement agencies to properly utilize their most expensive and limited resource, police officers.
Automated police technology is surely not a perfected resource available to our law enforcement agencies, but it does show promise and is an amazing advancement within the field of criminal justice. Time has proven that rarely has technological advancements been met with completely “open arms”, but being tried and tested will work out the problems and focus upon the benefits. With today’s economy and our changing society, automated police technology has a role that I feel not only will stay but will grow as the number of police officers is limited by lack of available resources and our nation grows. Criminal justice is an ever evolving entity and as can be seen today, one that needs to evolve to encompass the newest technological advancement of automated police systems.