De­part­ments use tech­nol­ogy to ID

The Covington News - - THE WIRE -

LOS AN­GE­LES (AP) — Po­lice de­part­ments across the U.S. are us­ing tech­nol­ogy to try to iden­tify prob­lem of­fi­cers be­fore their mis­be­hav­ior harms in­no­cent peo­ple, em­bar­rasses their em­ployer, or in­vites a costly law­suit — from cit­i­zens or the fed­eral gov­ern­ment.

While such “early warn­ing sys­tems” are of­ten treated as a cure-all, ex­perts say, lit­tle re­search ex­ists on their ef­fec­tive­ness or — more im­por­tantly — if they’re even be­ing prop­erly used.

Over the last decade, such sys­tems have be­come the gold stan­dard in ac­count­abil­ity polic­ing with a com­put­er­ized sys­tem used by at least 39 per­cent of law en­force­ment agen­cies, ac­cord­ing to the most re­cent data from the U.S. Bureau of Jus­tice Statis­tics.

The is­sue of po­lice-com­mu­nity re­la­tions was thrust into the spot­light after an of­fi­cer fa­tally shot Michael Brown in Mis­souri. Since then, de­part­ments have held pub­lic fo­rums to build trust with res­i­dents. Some are test­ing cam­eras mounted to of­fi­cers to mon­i­tor their in­ter­ac­tions with the pub­lic.

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