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The job of fulfilling special technology needs for state and local law enforcement belongs to the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the criminal justice research arm of the U. To determine technology requirements, the Office of Science and Technology regularly surveys the police through its Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Advisory Council (LECTAC), which is comprised of top law enforcement officials from throughout the country.

It also develops voluntary product standards, compliance and testing processes, and it disseminates a wide range of information on criminal justice technology.

To do their job, police frequently have looked to technology for enhancing their effectiveness.

The advent of fingerprinting in the 1900s and of crime laboratories in the 1920s greatly augmented the police capacity to solve crimes.

Often in cooperation with other federal agencies such as the Departments of Defense and Energy, NIJ sponsors scores of efforts to develop new technologies. However, in preparing it, observations were formed that may be useful to federal policymakers.

A second observation is that the coordination of technology development, as well as the emphasis on its importance, would be better served by the appointment of a science and technology adviser to the Attorney General and a senior law enforcement official to the Technology Policy Board of the White House Office of Science and Technology.

Here, again, it would appear that NIJ could provide excellent support in this endeavor.

Other observations address ways of encouraging industry to manufacture and market technologies developed under NIJ's aegis; of strengthening compliance with product standards; and of encouraging the federal government to help police agencies acquire new technologies through such means as buying consortiums, low-interest loans, and distribution of surplus equipment. Burkhalter, Jr., USN (Ret.) Chairman, National Committee on Criminal Justice Technology President, Seaskate, Inc., Washington, D. Introduction "Those were desperate times for policemen in a hostile country with unpaved streets and uneven sidewalks, sometimes miles from the police station, with little prospects of assistance in case of need....

Examples include fingerprinting databases, computerized crime mapping, and records management systems doing everything from inventorying property and cataloging evidence to calculating solvability factors.

Many police technologies are drawn and adapted from the commercial marketplace.

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