The Police and New Technology Professor James M. Byrne University of Massachusetts, Lowell
Changes in the Size of Police and in Police Personnel • Among large city police departments, 1990-2000, changes included -- • The number of residents served increased by 10%, resulting in a 7% increase in the number of full-time sworn personnel per 100,000 residents. • The number of UCR violent crimes decreased 34%, the number of UCR property crimes decreased 31%, and the number of full-time local police officers increased 17% • The representation of Hispanics among officers increased from 9% to 14% in 2000, blacks from 18% to 20%, and women from 12% to 16%. • The percent of departments requiring new officers to have at least some college rose from 19% to 37%, and the percent requiring a 2-year or 4-year degree grew from 6% to 14%.
Changes in Police Organization • There are close to 20,000 federal, state, and local police agencies in the United States • Since 9/11 Federal Policing agencies have been reorganized in an effort to coordinate our efforts to prevent terrorism.
Number of police paramilitary units grow • Nearly nonexistent in the early 1960s, the number of agencies with PPUs began to grow in 1967. By 1982, nearly 60 percent of police departments had them; by 1990, 78 percent; by 1995, 89 percent. • "The bulk of the newer units were from smaller municipalities and state police agencies, [with] even more rapid growth in smaller county and municipal police departments ... serving populations between 25,000 and 50,000.“ • Traditional call-outs - crisis situations such as "barricaded persons," terrorist activity, hostage situations and civil disturbances - accounted for only approximately 18 percent of the total by 1995. The remainder were largely for what police called 'high risk warrant work' - mostly drug raids
The Police and Hard Technology • Federal, state, and local police haveapplied hard technology not only in the area of individual offender apprehension, but also in the area of community-level surveillance and control. • In addition, technological innovations have been used to improve the safety and protection of police officers.
Hard Technology Innovations in Policing • Improvement in weaponry of police • Less-than-lethal force technology used in mob/potential riot situations • Computers in squad cars to improve criminal identification and /or for gang identification; computer-based strategies to identify criminal behavior on the internet (e.g. sex offenders, cyber crime, terrorism) • Improvements in offender/citizen identification (e.g. biometrics, fingerprints, etc.) • Improvements in police protection devices (e.g. bullet proof vests, new construction of police departments)
There will always be a faster gun : Aztec Two Step were correct • Improvements in police weaponry are a direct response to improvements and availability of offender weaponry. • Many police departments upgrade weapons on a regular basis. • In large departments, weapons are upgraded approximately once every five years.
Under the Gun : Some Facts to Consider • New York City police officers fire their weapons far less often than they did a decade ago, a statistic that has dropped along with the crime rate. • But when they do fire, even at an armed suspect, there is often no one returning fire at the officers. • Officers hit their targets roughly 34 percent of the time
Guns and the Police in New York: 1996-2006 • Over all, the numbers show that the department’s use of deadly force has decreased along with the city’s historic drop in crime, and the drop in threats against police officers. • Picked apart closely, the reports provide a remarkable portrait of how the nation’s largest police force, with 36,000 officers, uses its guns. Every shot, from gunfight to accident to suicide, both on and off-duty, is accounted for.
Gun Use By Police in New York City • The number of bullets fired by officers dropped to 540 in 2006 from 1,292 in 1996 — the first year that the city’s housing, transit and regular patrol forces were merged — with a few years of even lower numbers in between. Police officers opened fire 60 times at people in 2006, down from 147 in 1996. • ¶The police fatally shot 13 people in 2006, compared with 30 people a decade before. • The average number of bullets fired by each officer involved in a shooting remained about the same over those 11 years even with a switch to guns that hold more bullets — as did officers’ accuracy, roughly 34 percent. • ¶In 77 percent of all shootings since 1998 when civilians were the targets, police officers were not fired upon, although in some of those cases, the suspects were acting violently: displaying a gun or pointing it at officers, firing at civilians, stabbing or beating someone or hitting officers with autos
Innovations in Weaponry • Power: Is bigger better? • It really depends where the officer works. Go out to LA or any high crime area, and police officers will tell you they need more firearms. • Some argue: Firepower needs to be upgraded for law enforcement officers in general. Gangs simply out power most departments when it comes to their weapons. • Bullets: Do more bullets help? • Cameras on guns: Do they improve Police performance?
New Guns Versus Old Guns • With the introduction of the Smith & Wesson 4006 and the Glock 23, Police Departments started switching over to the larger caliber round. • Not only is the round bigger, it provided more stopping power which is what police need. • There has been countless arguments over which gun is the better ,but the 40's seem to be weapons of choice for law enforcement now.
Less-than-Lethal Force Technology : An Overview • Tasers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VL5GFWTxTb8 • Batons • Water and Sound • Sticky Foam • Rubber and Plastic Bullets • Pepper ball Projectiles • http://www.unidir.org/pdf/articles/pdf-art2217.pdf
Tasers: Exent of Use by Police in the United States • According to the device’s manufacturer, Taser International, more than 345,000 Tasers have been sold to 12,750 law enforcement and military agencies in 44 countries, with 4,500 agencies distributing them to their entire forces. • In NYC, the police deploy the Taser about 300 times a year, mainly when responding to some of the 80,000 calls for emotionally disturbed people.
What is a Taser? A Look at NYC • about 500 Tasers are deployed in New York. • The weapon has not been fully embraced by the Police Department, the nation’s largest police force, partly because of the difficulties in maintaining the devices and in training officers • The Taser model being used in New York is the M26, which is not the newest version (that is the X26, which is 60 percent lighter and smaller). The M26 is yellow, looks like a 9-millimeter Glock, weighs about 16 ounces and costs about $400. • The weapon uses a compressed-nitrogen cartridge to launch two probes that travel 15 to 35 feet. At the end of each probe is a wire that attaches to the skin and clothing. • The Taser can work through about two cumulative inches of clothing, said Stephen D. Tuttle, a Taser spokesman. The probes deliver 3,000 volts of electrical current to the body, or 0.36 joules per pulse. (There are 19 pulses a second, and each trigger cycle lasts for 5 seconds).
SA-4 Pepper Ball System • The SA-4 PepperBall system launches up to four ImpactPlus projectiles that strike with 20 foot-pounds of force and release nearly four grams of extremely hot pepper powder (Capsaicin II). That's twice the impact of standard PepperBall projectiles, and with pepper powder that has been mixed to contain 3 times the active agent of our standard round. It's impressive stopping power. • This system is an ideal first choice less-lethal option in many use-of-force situations, including non-combatant military scenarios, inmate management correctional scenarios and law enforcement situations including stand-off, single or multiple suspect compliance, dispersal of gangs, bringing suspects out of hiding, busting barricades and personal defense. • The SA-4 is highly accurate at ranges up to 30 feet, with high visibility sites. A three position safety offers safe, off-safe/laser on, and off-safe laser off positions. • http://www.pepperball.com/le/products.aspx
Snelgrave Commission Report on The Death of Victoria Snelgrave • Less-than Lethal Force? • What went wrong? • Was it the weapon( FN303)? • Was it the training? • http://www.cityofboston.gov/police/pdfs/report.pdf
FN303: The Less Than Lethal Force Weapon Used by the Boston Police Department • FN 303 Less Lethal Launcher • The FN 303 is designed to be the premier system for situations requiring less lethal response. Completely dedicated to reduced lethality and liability, the basis of the FN 303 concept lies in its ammunition. The .68 caliber, 8.5 g weight projectiles utilize a fin stabilized polystyrene body and non-toxic bismuth forward payload to provide both a more accurate, greater effective range than other less than lethal weapons.The primary effect of the projectile is trauma, which directly neutralizes the aggressor. In addition, secondary effects from the projectiles can be delivered via a chemical payload depending on mission requirements. Magazines are 15 round capacity with a clear rear cover to allow for rapid ammunition payload verification. The compressed air powered FN 303 launcher is designed to fire less lethal projectiles exclusively, with an effective range of 50 meters at a point specific target for law enforcement and a maximum range of 100 meters for military applications.
Police Protective Gear • Bullet Proof Vests: many police officers do not like to wear them for a variety of reasons—weight, smell, appearance are three reasons • Are Bullet Proof Vests effective? It depends on the vest and the gun.
Body Armor: Evidence of Effectiveness • More than 3,000 police officers' lives have been saved by body armor since the mid-1970s when the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) began testing and developing body armor and performance standards for ballistic and stab resistance. • Unfortunately, there is no such thing as bulletproof armor. • Body armor can provide protection against a significant number of types of handgun ammunition, but law enforcement personnel must keep in mind that armor is categorized and rated for different threat levels. • Additional protection should be worn for SWAT team operations, hostage rescues, or Special Operations assignments, when officers may be exposed to a weapon threat greater than the protection provided by regular duty armor.
Computers in Police Cars Today's cruisers are equipped with digital radios, GPS units, computers, radars, lights, sirens, etc. • Dispatch centers have become computerized, and officers on the beat and in offices access a variety of databases on a daily basis. • However, these devices are most often not designed to become a part of a system of multiple devices manufactured by different companies--in other words they are not designed with integration in mind.
Project 54: Hands Free Communication • http://www.project54.unh.edu/overview/about.html • Project54 system allows officers to interact with equipment such as lights and siren, radar, etc. using speech input and feedback. • The Project54 system also integrates police cruisers into state-wide data networks
Law Enforcement Vehicle Armor • Patrol officers are the first responders in more and more incidents involving gun use. And all too often, the firearm in question is a rifle. • PROTECH's Law Enforcement Vehicle Armor (L.E.V.A) system offers NIJ Level III for door panels and bulkheads and Level IIIA protection for door panels, windshields, bulkheads and windows. • http://www.protecharmored.com/systems/special/leva.asp
Improvements in Offender-Citizen Identification • Biometrics and Real ID • http://www.iqbiometrix.com/ • DNA as an identification tool • Fingerprints: sometimes “old school” works better than “new school”.
Does Hard Technology Work in Policing? • Issues to consider: • (1)Research on the reliability of the technology? • (2)Training on the use of technology? • (3) Research on the impact of the technology on key outcome measures? • (4) Cost effectiveness of technology acquisition?
Other Hard Technology Police Innovations • Gunshot location Systems can identify gun firing and automatically dispatch both police and emergency vehicles to the location. • Police-operated CCTV Systems can be used to monitor targeted locations. • Newark New Jersey Police recently spent several million dollars for CCTV .
Research Evidence: Police Use of Taser Technology • Amnesty International said it had tracked more than 300 cases since 2001 in which people died after being shocked by a Taser. And although studies have not shown what role the devices might have played in those deaths, “extreme caution” is in order, said Larry R. Cox, the executive director of Amnesty. • http://www.less-lethal.org/docs/66/LessLethalPerformanceBasedAnalysis.pdf • http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/15/nyregion/15taser.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&ref=nyregion
Unintended Consequences of Hard Technology Innovations • New Guns designed to improve police performance end up in the hands of offenders. • Less-than-lethal Force Weaponry designed to reduce police use of guns/deadly force result in more harm to suspects because it is used in lower level police-citizen encounters.
Unintended Consequences • New Patrol Car Technology will change the nature and extent of police surveillance of the public—in cars and in the community. • Citizen mistrust of the police may actually increase if technological interactions replace personal interaction between police and community residents
People versus Thing Technology: Tipping Points • Evidence of effectiveness is mixed. • Cost of new technological innovation may result in fewer police officers in the community. • Private Sector Policing may replace public safety policing in many areas.