When one gauges how the police forces of the U.S., particularly the police forces of Philadelphia and its surrounding cities, have changed, either for better or for worse, one tends to forget that police forces are just human beings. Human beings are not perfect, and even the people trained and paid to protect citizens are flawed in judgment or motivated by personal or political corruption.
When we examine Philadelphian police forces, we know that these departments have a long struggle with corruption, inadequate policies, and debt, but police forces across the nation are moving towards improvement. The improvement is coming in the form of technology. Police forces are not just human beings with badges and guns, but strong police forces engage with new advancements in technology.
As the police men and women have to adapt physically to society’s changes, especially as crime is no longer restricted to the streets, but is moving to the Internet, police forces’ policies and technology must also evolve. Forensic departments across the country are doing just that! In March of 2012, the Philadelphia Police Department, like other city departments in the nation, expanded their technology to a full surveillance center. With Penn’s Public Safety division, the PPD has built a fully functioning real-time crime center, which can monitor 911 calls more effectively, connect to SEPTA’s surveillance systems quicker, and access crime scene data and photographs more quickly and with more accuracy. Before the real-time crime center, the PPD took about thirty minutes to search their crime lab databases. With the real-time crime center, the PPD hopes that the technology will make that database search more effective, cutting search time to thirty seconds. This new crime center is not just a piece of technology, but a super-computer extension of the abilities of the men and women in blue. As more major metropolises experiment and adapt this new technology, one can see how police forces across the nation are improving in how they detect and solve crimes.
With the advancement in forensic technology, I believe that police forces understand that they can no longer just rely on the “good nature” of people or police workers to prevent crime, and this change of attitude is an improvement in itself.
The Daily Pennsylvanian