As society evolves and faces new challenges, law enforcement finds itself at a crucial crossroads marked by several technological advancements to help shape the future of public safety. Police departments must stay ahead of the curve regarding technological and industry changes to serve communities in crisis better.

As we approach 2024 and beyond, the landscape of policing is preparing to undergo several transformations to reshape how law enforcement serves people and meets community needs. To help you stay up-to-date about what to expect in the future of policing, here are the top trends in law enforcement to look out for in the years to come.

1. Predictive Policing

One of the most notable trends in law enforcement that you’ll see in upcoming years is the emergence of predictive policing. Driven by artificial intelligence (AI), predictive policing uses analytics and intervention models to predict crimes before they occur to target high-danger areas.

Predictive policing uses past data to analyze crime patterns, identify signs of a potential crime, and deploy resources to a crime area before the crime occurs to prevent the instance. The process allows law enforcement to respond more effectively to future crimes.

2. Health and Wellness Initiatives

Officer health and wellness is another emerging priority in law enforcement, steadily gaining traction for 2024 and beyond. Physical and mental health is paramount for effective policing, especially because law enforcement officers are prone to severe physical and mental strain from work and are more susceptible to obesity, hypertension, heart attacks, and other health issues.

Because of the health consequences often accompanying law enforcement jobs, agencies are increasingly focused on health incentives for officers. More police departments are implementing mental health awareness initiatives and physical health programs to protect the officer whether they’re on or off duty.

3. Community Policing

Community-oriented policing is on the rise in 2024 law enforcement trends nationwide. Community policing is a strategy focusing on developing trusting and lasting relationships between police officers and the communities they serve in collaboration to make communities safer and create better places to live.

Community-oriented policing entails various strategies to fit the needs of individual communities and focuses on the following components.

  • Developing community partnerships between civilians and law enforcement
  • Engaging in problem-solving between civilians and law enforcement
  • Implementing organizational features of community policing

4. Technology and Tools

As technology evolves, it continues to dominate nearly every industry, and law enforcement is no exception. Numerous law enforcement trends are marked by emerging technology and tools to make police departments more accurate, efficient, and helpful. While endless technological advancements are being made in law enforcement in the upcoming years, below are a few of the most notable trends.

  • Drones: law enforcement officers are using drones to contribute to police surveillance and to address active crime situations.
  • Facial recognition: facial recognition software is being implemented in remote surveillance processes.
  • Robotics: robot utilization is expanding throughout law enforcement agencies, especially when it’s unsafe for an officer to enter the crime scene. Robotics provide crucial aid to officers and are increasingly used to address scenes involving active explosives.
  • GPS: several GPS applications are being implemented in law enforcement agencies to track crime scenes and locate high-risk suspects, such as repeat offenders.
  • Social media: as technology evolves, officers increasingly use social media to collect relevant information and engage with the communities they serve.
  • Digital evidence management systems (DEMS): these systems allow police departments to collect and share evidence to meet modern needs. Because most modern evidence is digital, more agencies are turning to cloud-based technologies to access evidence and solve cases with more flexibility than on-site solutions.

5. Evidence-Based Policing

Evidence-based policing, also called EBP, is a new method of law enforcement decision-making that accounts for today’s social climate when making decisions related to police activities. EBP is based on scientific research, evaluation, and analysis, collecting and using this information to make, assess, and enforce policing policies, procedures, and programs.

Evidence-based policing is built on the same principles of evidence-based medicine, aiming to test for effective and proven reliable procedures in reducing, controlling, and detecting issues while causing as little harm as possible to the communities being served.

6. Addressing Recruiting Issues

Law enforcement agencies consistently encounter recruitment issues, making it more challenging for many police departments to fulfill their promises to the communities they serve. With the current shortfall in officer recruitment, many law enforcement trends for 2024 and beyond will focus on increasing efforts to attract and retain new officers and use AI to mitigate issues caused by a lack of working officers.

For instance, AI is being used to address recruiting issues with systems to detect criminal activity and alert necessary parties like an officer would. AI is also being used to collect and analyze evidence for faster results and a shorter time to solve a crime. New evidence-collection methods can significantly reduce an officer’s time collecting evidence independently, allowing for more productive policing.

7. Tackling Cyber Threats

As cyber threats become more sophisticated and severe, law enforcement agencies seek new ways to address, identify, and prevent losses from occurring. In 2022 alone, the FBI received over 800,000 cybercrime complaints, with losses exceeding 10 billion USD. With no sign of stopping shortly, cybercriminals are becoming increasingly skilled in targeting sensitive information.

Policing and law enforcement trends will likely continue to put cybercrime at the forefront of current issues and activities, with agencies using apps and other technologies to address and prevent the rapid rise in cybercrime.

Contact TCS Upfitting for Your Upfitting Services

Knowing what trends in law enforcement to expect in 2024 and beyond can help you prepare for the years to come in policing and serve your community to the best of your ability. Police departments seeking emergency vehicle upfitting services need advanced solutions like the services provided by TCS Upfitting.

TCS Upfitting is an emergency vehicle upfitting company that specializes in upgrading vehicles like police cars, ambulances, and fire trucks. Prepare for the future of policing and ensure that your department can meet service demands by contacting TCS Upfitting today.