Advantages and Disadvantage of Technology
Technology changes and improvements have been applied in all sectors of the economy as well as the arms of the government. Many employees and employers and the society in general embrace technology in different perspective depending on the impact it will cause on their lives.
The police department as many other sector has also been embracing technological changes to be able to deal well with the increasing cases of crimes. Generally, any technology will either have a positive or negative impact on all stakeholders.
The recent technology that the police have continuously used is the use of stun guns and patrol car video surveillance to tackle criminal activities and provide protection to the citizens.
Use of the stun guns.
Stun guns are weapons that are aimed at disabling a victim temporarily by delivering high voltage electric shock. There are various means in which the stun gun is used to a victim. The aim of the stun gun to disable a victim but many people have ended up being killed by the used of guns.
Tasers are a type of stun gun now being used by the police in the United States “[Tasers] are designed to incapacitate by conducting 50,000 volts of electricity into your body. The electrical pulses induce skeletal muscles spasms that immobilize and incapacitate, causing you to collapse to the ground”, (Indyhack 2007).
According to Eliot, more than 150 people have died in the US because of being struck by tasers since January 2001, and 61 in 2005. Most of the death victims died because of being subjected to multiple or prolonged shock. The police have been drawing the tasers so quickly even in cases that the use of such extreme force is not necessary. For instance,
Deputies fired Tasers at a teenager who ran after not paying $1 bus fare, a 71 – year who refused to get into a police car, and partially deaf man who could not hear deputies ordering him to stop…About three out of four of those shocked by Seattle police were unarmed, (Indyhack 2007).
Apart form the abuse of the Tasser weapons by the police, the use of the Tasser can have side effect on the victim, in the long run.There is no any scientific proven research done to allay fears about the electrocuting of human beings by use of the gadget.
Taser only relies on two studies. The studies were done by company paid researchers’ on a single pig in 1996, and on 5 dogs in 1999, (Indyhack 2007). Because of lack of scientific research, health hazards cannot be ruled out.
Despite these problems associated with the use of the stun gun police, have vehemently defended the weapon use. They argue that the weapon can be used rather than police handguns especially on victims who are armed with different weapons other than guns, or on victims who are mentally sick. In this case, many lives will be saved because of the use of the less lethal weapons.
Patrol car video surveillance
Many people because of the fact that it has played a big role in preventing crime have welcomed the video surveillance technology. This system is one of the technologies that have quite well used to control criminal activities in most cities, homes, business building and public places.
It has been widely accepted by many people that the surveillance system has highly reduced the cases of criminal activities, “Instead of being perceived as an Orwellian intrusion, the cameras in Britain proved to be extremely popular.They were hailed as the people’s technology, a friendly eye in the sky, not Big Brother at all but kindly and watchful uncle or aunt”, (Arroyo, 2002).
The problem with using the surveillance is when it is combined with other technologies such as biometric facial recognition, thermal sensing, infrared, and other that greatly enhanced human visual capabilities (Arroyo 2002).
If this system is used in line with the audio recording, the system will violate Title 1 of the Electronic Communications Act. This is because the combination of the surveillance style and audio recording without a person’s knowledge is violating the person’s privacy. This is especially a big problem if the police use the systems without being controlled, as they infringe on many rights of the people.
The other problem that is associated with this system is that it also implicates on peoples free social life. The monitoring of peoples’ movement in the society implies that a person will not be a free man in his own society, as someone somewhere is watching his movements.
This system seems to undermine the people’s way of life as well as compromising it.
Therefore, despite the fact that the surveillance might reduce many cases of criminal activities as some people argue, it at the same time causes destruction to the way of living of people and inducing the to conformity as one is not sure whether he is being watched or not.
Those who argue for the use of the surveillance system, they do see that the issue of security has become more important than only the social part of life. Hence arguing for the continued use of the system.
Both use of the stun gun and the surveillance machine can be of much beneficial to the society only if they are applied in the correct manner that does not in any way infringe on a person’s rights. Or else, as much as they are being applied as now, they have left many people’s rights abused.