The need to develop, test, and field new law enforcement tools remains as compelling as ever, given the rapidly increasing technological capabilities of criminals. U.S. government national laboratories that produce advanced technologies and U.S. businesses that supply those technologies to local law enforcement agencies would benefit from a focused effort to develop and deploy crime-fighting technologies to local agencies.
About 95 percent of a typical law enforcement agency's budget is dedicated to personnel. The scarce resources left over are spent on basic equipment, such as cars, radios, and side arms. There is little money available to purchase the new tools necessary to keep up with criminals. As the examples below demonstrate, a new effort to get technology onto the streets is needed to provide modern crimefighting tools to the nation's local law enforcement agencies.
NIJ has funded the research, development, testing, and evaluation of numerous technologies to help law enforcement. These range from less-than-lethal technologies, to weapons detection, see-throughwalls systems, capture nets, a “smart” gun, a rapid DNA identification system, and more. There are numerous cases where new DNA techniques have helped free people who were wrongly convicted. NIJ has also put on the streets the technologies that it is helping to develop. For example, police now have a better way to stop a fleeing car with less risk to officers and bystanders because of an NIJ technology called RoadSpike. The following are examples of technologies cur-