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The future of policing
The policing innovations shaping the future of law enforcement
New technologies, new methods, and new ideas have brought significant change to law enforcement. Police and law enforcement agencies across the country are driving the change, pioneering creative ideas, adapting to changing contexts, and incorporating insights from officers and community partners. The innovations that are shaping the future of law enforcement begin with emerging technologies that support new concepts of operations, enabling the interventions and relationships that keep society safe.
- The next century of policing
- Law enforcement innovation
- Top five innovations shaping the future
- A new beat to walk
- Get in touch
The next century of policing
Law enforcement is about keeping society safe. So it is no surprise that as society has changed, so too has law enforcement. New technologies, new methods, and new ideas have brought significant change to the profession. But at its core, law enforcement requires the same dedication to communities, the same sense of duty and sacrifice, and the same integrity it always has.
As law enforcement continues to evolve, it is important to look back at its history, with resources like the National Law Enforcement museum opening on October 13, to understand where we came from and what we can do to solve our most pressing challenges.1 To understand those challenges, a museum can be a fantastic tool—allowing visitors to walk in the shoes of an officer and experience the dangers and stresses they face every day—but, we also must look forward at the future trends shaping that officer's day.
Today, the pace of technology is accelerating faster than ever. New devices and services seem to appear every day. We can now order anything, anywhere—from groceries to software to a ride from a complete stranger—using only a phone. We can reach anyone, or millions of people, in an instant.
Our capacity to learn and to do good, and the capacity of some to do harm, is greater than ever. Technology is changing core aspects of how we interact as a society, and as society changes, so too will the tools, techniques, and concepts the men and women of law enforcement use to keep us safe.
Law enforcement innovation
Innovation is not just about the latest gadget—it's about finding new ways to do things better. Innovations can take the form of new concepts, new methods, or new tools. But innovation tends to work best when all these forms come together to enable police and law enforcement agencies to have greater insight and impact than ever before. The innovations that are shaping the future of law enforcement begin with emerging technologies that support new concepts of operations, enabling the interventions, and relationships that keep society safe.
Police and law enforcement agencies across the country are driving the change, pioneering creative ideas, adapting to changing contexts, and incorporating insights from officers and community partners. To understand how these innovative practices may transform the future, we must begin by understanding the journey an officer takes from evidence to insight. Officers need to be able to assess their environment rapidly, leverage technology as they pursue public safety, mine data for insights on what to do next, scale up their successes, and get deeply involved in their communities.
Top five innovations shaping the future
A new beat to walk
Change is inevitable, but law enforcement agencies can take proactive steps to prepare for the future. Along with these future trends, changing demographics are shifting what the officer of the future will look like and how they will spend their day.14 Law enforcement leadership must recognize these changes not only to recruit the right personnel, but also to manage them effectively in a world shifting from bricks and mortar to bits and bytes.
The millennial officer of the future will be the one in uniform as departments struggle to transition today's policing standards to tomorrow's. To make that transition as seamless as possible, one requires not only knowledge of the trends shaping the future, but also a deep understanding of law enforcement's past. By studying the history of law enforcement with resources like the National Law Enforcement museum, and by understanding the innovations that will drive the future, the law enforcement agencies of tomorrow will potentially be better prepared for change—and use it to their advantage.
And though technologies, methods, and tools may continue to evolve, the core of law enforcement remains the same: tirelessly working to improve community engagement and public safety. Innovation is likely to bring greater insight and safety than ever before, but the same professionalism and discipline that brought law enforcement through the last century will continue to be keys to success in the next one.
2 Max Meyers, Claire Niech, William D. Eggers. “Anticipate, sense, and respond: Connected government and the Internet of Things: The Internet of Things in government.” Deloitte Insights. August 28, 2015.
3 Joe Mariani, Brenna Sniderman, Cary Harr. “More Real than Reality: Transforming work through augmented reality.” Deloitte Review, Issue 21. Deloitte Insights. July 31, 2017.
4 Ray Briggs, Ed Dobner, Jennifer Dul, Joe Mariani, Pankaj Kishnani. “Digital reality in government: How AR and VR can enhance government services.” Deloitte Insights. August 24, 2018.
5 Melanie Basich. “Catching it all on camera.” Police Magazine. December 6, 2017.
6 William D. Eggers, David Schatsky, Dr. Peter Viechnicki. “AI-augmented government: Using cognitive technologies to redesign public sector work.” Deloitte Insights. April 26, 2017.
7 “The Future of AI in Law Enforcement: Intel-powered AI helps find missing children.” Intel.
8 Anthony Cuthbertson. “Indian Police Trace 3,000 Missing Children in Just Four Days Using Facial Recognition Technology.” The Independent.
Alejandro Tauber. “How the Dutch police are using AI to unravel cold cases.” The Next Police. May 23, 2018.
9 “Will artificial intelligence make us less free? Experts consider how the growing use of AI will impact civil liberties” American Civil Liberties Union.
10 “Strong partnerships at core of new Evidence Based Policing Centre.” New Zealand Police. Press Release. December 14, 2017.
11 “New Zealand's Evidence Based Policing Centre opens.” New Zealand Institute of Environmental Science and Research. Media Release. December 21, 2017.
12 Deloitte Center for Government Insights. “Customer Experience in Government.” Deloitte Insights. Interactive Graphic. 2016.
13 Brian Rokos. “Need to file a police report? There’s an app for that.” The Press-Enterprise. February 3, 2018.
14 Carolyn O’Boyle, Josefin Atack, Kelly Monahan. “Generation Z enters the workforce
Generational and technological challenges in entry-level jobs.” Deloitte Insights. September 19, 2017.
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