Technology is making law enforcement more effective than ever. I can't imagine the days of policework without a computer or decent radio. You might think police departments are privileged to have the finest technology available. You would be mistaken. My precinct has recently been outfitted with new computer systems but here are some actual gems of technology still in use today:
Ah yes, the streamlined beige box monitor. Notice the desk is too narrow for both the monitor and keyboard to fit. This requires one to hold the wrists in mid-air for as long as it takes to complete the nightly reports.
What high-speed, memory-monster of a harddrive could power such a monitor? Why, this beauty, of course. The sharp edged block of computing power has proven itself a survivor of countless kicks from police boots over the past decade or so. What better place for a 'desktop computer' than on the floor between roller chairs? Front USB ports? Who needs 'em? We like bending down, crawling under a table, swiveling a 40lb PC around and searching for a tiny port in the dark.
If you were impressed with the computing power, wait till you see some of the telecommunication systems in place. We pride ourselves on the finest communication equipment available. It's obvious someone had a penchant for style, versatility and practicality when selecting this particular model. One of the department's cost cutting secrets is to order phones with only the most commonly used buttons on it. I can only wonder how much money was saved by eliminating access to the four different lines, volume, hold, and transfer buttons.
Here are some calls I saw holding on my computer that I was unable to get to:
MISSING JUVENILE -complainant's teenage son left home hours ago in unknown direction after little sister saw him doing something embarassing
AGGRAVATED ASSAULT - complainant says his neighbor threw a potted plant at him.
CHECK WELFARE - female complainant home alone afraid to answer door. Her next door neighbor is spraying hose water on her front door and yelling anrily at her to come look and his new boxer shorts.