Smart gun system indicative of increase in LEO technology development

Posted on Nov 06, 2014

A new software and hardware suite will allow police departments to effectively track firearm use by officers in real time. The Associated Press reported a startup from the San Francisco Bay area has developed a tracking and transmission device that fits onto the duty weapons issued to police, which will transmit information about the orientation and use of these side arms when certain conditions are met. Specifically, the attachment will capture information about when a weapon is drawn from its holster as well as fired. Tracking includes the ability to tell exactly when a round is discharged and even if the weapon is loaded. Information is then routed to the dispatch management software police departments have in place.

Increased federal grants mean more technology being developed for police departments

A growing call for smart firearms

The technology developed in California is just one example of how a growing demand for increased tracking of firearm use is influencing the creation of law enforcement hardware and software. Forbes likened developing interest in side arm tracking to previous drives among both the general public and law enforcement officers for in-cruiser dashboard cameras and the current spike in the use of cameras attached to the uniforms of individual officers. As police departments across the country look for ways to use technology in crime control and knowledge sharing efforts, there will likely be more businesses emerging with law enforcement technology as a specific focus.

A growing market

Forbes pointed out there's more money becoming available to departments through a variety of state and federal grants. While department leaders are familiar with the application process and have applied for and used grants plenty of times in the past, the growing amount of money available is a relatively new development. The increase in federal grant funds has been noticed by technology companies large and small and the potentially lucrative nature of the market has led to the development of many different types of technology. The increase in the creation and availability of hardware and software made specifically for use with law enforcement efforts is good news for decision-makers at police departments, who now have a wide array of options to choose from.

The development of many different types of technology means more specialization and a greater chance that police chiefs will find the type of software or hardware that best fits the needs of their departments.

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