Basic Computer Skills
Probably the most used of all tech skills for law enforcement professionals, basic computer skills are essential, as technology plays such a major role in daily life. Without basic computer skills like being able to use an online map or mapping software, finding locations and problem areas can be much more difficult. In many police precincts, mapping software is used to track the frequency of crimes to determine how an area should be patrolled. Basic typing and internet skills are also vital for police officers in performing their daily tasks, like filling out necessary paperwork and crime reports, as these types of reports are usually done on computers instead of actual paper for easier filing, storage and recall.
Surveillance plays a major role in most law enforcement professionals’ lives, whether they are working for a small, local police precinct or a large government organization. Both audio and video surveillance is used to record interviews and interrogations on a regular basis. In some cases, law enforcement officials can use surveillance as a way to monitor individuals who have committed a crime or to track wanted criminals, though this type of surveillance is less common outside of large law enforcement or government agencies. Law enforcement professionals also need to be able to monitor and use private recordings that they obtain, like video surveillance in a bank or store if a crime is committed there. While many law enforcement agencies have specialists that work exclusively with audio and video technology, a basic understanding by all law enforcement professionals can greatly expedite the investigation process.
Understanding of GPS Technology
GPS technology is crucial for most of today’s law enforcement professionals to get their jobs done in a timely fashion. GPS technology is used in a variety of ways in the law enforcement field, from monitor known sex offenders and violent criminals that are on probation to helping police officers in the field find crime scenes and victim locations. Many police departments use specialized GPS technology designed specifically for law enforcement use, but a basic understanding of consumer GPS technology is the first step toward understanding the more sophisticated hardware and software used by law enforcement professionals. GPS technology is also used in organizations that work alongside local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, and are particularly beneficial for probation and parole officers that need to monitor a large amount of people at any given time. Using GPS tracking for this purpose is generally more cost-effective than traditional visits and can save probation and parole officers a great deal of travel time, which is often unproductive, though GPS technology and more traditional visitation methods are commonly used in conjunction with one another.
Luis Carpenter is a crime scene investigator and guest author at BestCollegesOnline.org, where he contributed to the guide to the Top 10 Online Colleges for Criminal Justice.