The present day technological development and improvements had numerous positive effects on the communication abilities of various criminal databases. It is now essay to exchange information between databases or share information about criminals and criminal activities. Certainly technology has had numerous effects on communication For instance, various department handling criminal activists such as state police departments, federal bureau of investigation (FBI), Interpol among other can share or exchange information from their data bases by a click of a button
Mobile data terminals
Mobile data terminals facilitates transmission of information to and from patrol cars, security or police officers whether in patrol cars or on foot. At first, mobile data terminals were basically simple terminals that facilitated exchange of rudimentary information between stations and their officers. For example, instead of sending dispatch information via the radio, such information could be send via mobile data terminal and the officers responsible could record and transmit the arrival times at the dispatch location (Pattavina, 2005). Technological advancement however saw the development of laptops and netbook computers, personal digital assistants (PDAs), voice-activated computers as well as hand held ticket issuing computers. The new machines machine share same abilities as desk top computers and the portability, especially hand held computers, do not require to be installed in the patrol cars. This has simplifies two way communication between officers irrespective of their location. As such mobile data terminal have become the most dependable aids to response.
Integrated Automated Identification system (IAFIS)
This is quite different from mobile data terminals. It is a national automated finger print identification and crime history data base developed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The data base facilitates electronic image storage, finger print searching abilities, electronic exchange of fingerprints, latent searching ability, and electronic responses. Worldwide, it is the largest biometric database. It has criminal records and fingerprint of 55 million criminals (Karen et al, 2009). The finger prints are submitted to the FBI by federal and state law enforcement departments whenever they record a new criminal case. The information is stored permanently. Live scan is used to scan the finger prints into the system
Advantages of the technology
Technology has enhancive communication between various data bases. Various benefits evident from technological advancement include, improved information sharing, improve timely response, improved speed of transmission if information, the instruments are time saving, there is enhanced uniformity and precision, and improved the security of officers (Pattavina, 2005). The officers can also transmit print and other images electronically. Furthermore, officers can keep track of migratory criminals who migrate from one country to another.
Disadvantage of the technology
However technological advance also has some shortfalls, AFIS for instance, despite its benefits, provides only possibilities of matches and accuracy must be done through finger print examination. The finger prints contained in the data base also contain only a percentage of the criminal population.Some technologies are expensive and require specialize skill to use for example DNA databases and forensic technologies.
As a law enforcement officer I would prefer to working with forensic technologies. Forensic technologies involve keeping of DNA data bases that help in criminal investigation. Forensic technology helps to collect evidence for prosecution purpose. The DNA database contains information of about 2 million individuals. Availabity of DNA information increases the chances of resolving crimes from 14% to 44%.
Certainly, technology has improved criminal investigations worldwide simplifying the ease with which officers communicate, exchange information, and track criminals. The officers’ security has also been improved through the use of various technological gadgets. However, a lot is needs to be done to cover up for the shortcomings of technology.