Law Enforcement Technology

National Criminal Justice Technology Research, Test and Evaluation (RT&E) Center

Welcome to the National Criminal Justice Technology Research, Test and Evaluation (RT&E) Center.

The RT&E Center conducts focused research, testing and evaluations of non-forensic technologies intended to enhance the capabilities of state and local law enforcement and corrections agencies. Working closely with practitioners, the Center strives to inform the field concerning technology and related issues in an innovative, sustainable, efficient and effective manner.

The Center will conduct market surveys, determine technical performance of selected technologies, and conduct operational assessments and impact assessments to determine practical outcomes for practitioners of NIJ-funded R&D programs and other technology developments. Technologies included within the scope of the assigned RT&E projects include community-based offender monitoring systems and related geospatial tools, video analytics applications, the National Public Safety Broadband Network (FirstNet), advanced radio systems and gateways, datacasting applications for law enforcement, and technologies being applied to prevent and respond to criminal acts of violence in K-12 schools in the U.S and other countries. In addition to the focused T&E projects the RT&E Center is establishing a broad base of subject matter expertise to draw upon for further research.

The following reports have recently been published.

Operational Evaluation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems for Crash Scene Reconstruction, Operational Evaluation Report, Version 1.0

Car accidents can cause tremendous traffic delays while also presenting a dangerous situation for police officers working to clear the scene.

In major metropolitan areas across the United States, delays related to traffic incidents are estimated to account for more than half of all congestion-related delays. For police officers, “struck-by” incidents – when an officer is struck by a passing vehicle while doing their job at a crash scene – is one of the leading causes of accidental death among law enforcement and fire and rescue personnel. In 2016, 12 police officers were killed in struck-by accidents, the most since 2008, according to the FBI.

This report found that using Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) can reduce the amount of time taken to clear a crash scene, thereby reducing the time officers are at risk of injury in the roadway.

A Market Survey on Contraband Detection Technologies, April 2017

GPS Monitoring Practices in Community Supervision and the Potential Impact of Advanced Analytics, Version 1.0
This report address EM uses in offender monitoring, the conceptual system framework, State and local EM practices, ways to increase the efficiency of offender monitoring, the operational impact of EM, and cost considerations. The use of EM systems in community corrections has become more widespread over the past 15 years due to many State and local jurisdictions facing directives to implement this technology as a condition for offenders’ release from confinement; however, there is wide variation in the applications and in the degree to which they have been successfully implemented.

Market Survey of Location-Based Offender Tracking Technologies, Version 1.1
This report provides basic information on the principal OTS subsytems, their interfaces, and communications flow. OTS hardware and software components report the location and corresponding time data at programmed intervals for individuals assigned OTS bracelets. Although each OTS vendor has unique software that processes and monitors the location data provided by the bracelet, most provide end users with access to their software through the Internet. They also typically have the ability to create inclusion zones, exclusion zones, and schedules that can be stored either in the device or in software at a data center. Either the agency or the vendor may perform offender monitoring. The market survey produced data on 16 OTS products manufactured by 13 venders.

Pursuit Technology Impact Assessment, Version 1.1, January 2017