The Use Of X-rays During Traffic Stops: Technological Innovations in Law Enforcement

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As time goes by the spread of technology and information continues to increase throughout the world. Information has become more readily available and new technology has the increased ability to pry into the private lives of individuals.

As technological advances continue to take place, police departments and law enforcement agencies across the United States and the world at large have begun to use technology to increase its odds in the fight against crime and crime prevention.  Many of these technical advances have been a great benefit to both law enforcement officers and civilians as well. Advances in body armor and other essential tools has allowed for better protection for officers who are in the line of fire. Innovations in devices such as Tasers have allowed for police to engage suspects in dangerous situations without the use of lethal force. Police now have the ability to better track and keep an eye on potential crime or even potential wrongdoers. 

Metal detectors in the entrances of buildings was of course the initial step taken in years past to add security to important facilities while also alerting authorities to any wrongdoers that may be armed and on the premises. 

Invasion of Privacy versus Added Security

Many have questioned whether the increased used of technology in law enforcement is really a blessing or rather a curse in disguise. Preventative measures that can be taken by the police can see and detect that crime may take place but some would say that it is at the cost of the privacy of the everyday civilian. 

A recent decisions made by a judge in Niagara, New York ruled that police could not use x-rays to scan a potential suspect’s car under suspicion of hidden drugs or other contraband.  The driver who had their car scanned was in violation of window tint regulations and as result had his vehicle searched and eventually scanned with an x-ray scanner on the basis of that initial violation. The judge ruled that the police did not have the grounds to scan and search the vehicle in that manner on a simple window tint violation. 

The use of scanners in airports across the country has been a source of controversy and differing opinions for people. While most people do not argue the use of baggage screening and metal detectors many take issue with the use of body scanners on passengers. Some argue that the full body scanners used in airports security checks are a severe invasion of personal privacy and therefore should not be utilized. However many argue that its use prevents many potential disasters from occurring. 

Law enforcement continues to use new technological innovations in crime prevention and crime fighting strategy and although technology can make the lives of law enforcement a lot easier, this often comes at the cost of a loss of privacy for the average citizen.

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This post was written by Adam Rosenblum


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