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5 Emerging Technologies in Law Enforcement That Improve Efficiency

Get your officers out from behind the computer screen and streamline the administrative burden on supervisors — giving them time back to focus on the communities — with these five cutting-edge police tools.

When officers and supervisors spend less time doing paperwork and completing administrative tasks, they can spend more time interacting with their community. From capturing evidence to redacting confidential information, these five emerging technologies help law enforcement agencies improve efficiency and add more time to officers’ days.

 

1. Capturing digital evidence

An audio recorder. A digital camera. A video camera. Officers use multiple pieces of equipment to capture digital evidence in the field.

But why not use the one device that’s capable of capturing all forms of digital evidence — a smartphone?

“In this day and age, why would you have an audio recorder and then also a separate digital camera when you have your iPhone, which does both of those things extremely well?” asks Anatoly Khen, product manager for mobile applications, Axon.

With Axon Capture, a cutting-edge mobile application designed specifically for law enforcement, officers can capture digital evidence right from their phones. That digital evidence can then be reviewed and securely uploaded to Axon Evidence (Evidence.com) — all from the field.

 

2. Collecting evidence from citizens

If a crime or incident happens in a public location, how do you collect evidence from all of the potential witnesses? If there’s no way of tracking down the names and contact information for everyone who may have been present, you’ll likely find yourself waiting for witnesses to come forward with information.

To streamline the process of collecting evidence, Axon created Axon Citizen, which allows officers to send an invite, or request for evidence, to known sources. They can also create a community portal that allows citizens to upload evidence related to certain incidents voluntarily.

“It’s simple and intuitive for the community member and for the officer,” says Blake Bos, product manager for Axon Evidence. “In some of these incidents, they're not going to go through the headache of claiming somebody's phone — they just want to get the evidence.”

 

3. Use-of-force reporting and internal affairs investigations

When an officer discharges a weapon, TASER CEW or uses any type of force with a suspect, the sergeant is charged with investigating the incident to ensure the officer is in compliance with the department’s standards. Enter: Axon Standards, a module of Axon Records, that streamlines the report-writing process and provides clear task delegation and workflows to create a faster, more effective method for writing reports. Plus, integration with Axon Evidence keeps digital evidence accessible throughout the entire process.

Once a report is filed, Axon Standards tracks it through every stage of the investigation, with a process that is protected against tampering and unintentional alterations. Alerts and notifications keep reporting on track to prevent work from slipping through cracks.

“As the sergeant is writing the report, they'll be able to see exactly what happened,” says Gurami Pichkhaia, product manager, Axon. “This improves accuracy because they're not duplicating data that they don't need to enter, they're not filling out fields that aren't relevant to the situation, and they're using all the evidence that's at their disposal to truly see what happened in that incident.”

 

4. Redacting confidential information

Redacting confidential information from evidence is a standard practice, but it’s also very time-consuming. Manually placing a mask to cover someone’s face in a video, for example, can take a redaction specialist twice the length of time of the video itself.

Part of Axon Evidence’s Redaction Studio, Axon Redaction Assistant uses artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically identify and mask the screens, faces and license plates in footage from body-worn cameras.

For large agencies that manage a high volume of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, this technology is game changing. 

“Because there are many requests, especially in big places, you can have a lot of evidence to redact, which is a lot of work,” says Sylvia Le, product manager of redaction, Axon. “The faster the better.”

 

5. Supporting officer performance and compliance

Effective policies for body-worn camera usage require active monitoring to ensure agency standards are achieved. Axon Performance helps agencies use their own data to make that happen. 

“It's really difficult today for agencies to take advantage of the data that they produce,” says Erin Fleischli, senior product manager, Axon. “As [agencies] start adopting more and more sensor devices like body cameras and TASER devices and Fleet, they're producing more and more data — more and more opportunities for them to get smarter. Axon Performance makes it easy for agencies to take advantage of their own data.”

Axon Performance allows agencies to use the metadata that’s attached to different types of digital evidence to identify patterns of behavior that indicate where officers are in need of training and support. And while it can draw helpful data from any Axon sensors, it’s especially useful for helping agencies monitor and enforce the use of body-worn cameras.

“It’s critical that at the end of the day you know the officers who are exceeding expectations and doing everything according to policy, and that you also identify the officers who aren't and come up with a plan to train and help those officers,” Fleischli says.

Effective policy management helps identify issues before they become a problem and helps build trust with the community.

Improve efficiency

Learn more about how Axon’s software and devices can help your agency become more efficient. Contact Axon today.