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Futuristicpolicing strategies are instrumental in creating a safe and secure society.

Futuristicpolicing strategies are instrumental in creating a safe and secure society.

Posted May. 19, 2023 08:11,   

Updated May. 19, 2023 08:11


ChatGPT, an interactive chatbot powered by an artificial intelligence, has been rapidlygaining popularity. When writing an article, I used ChatGPT, smart assistant.

Manypeople, however, voice concerns over the negative effects of technologicalprogress. Some present a pessimistic scenario that people will becomesubordinate to AI, or the human race will end. A columnist had a weird andfrightening conversation with the Microsoft’s AI chatbot, saying that “AI willcreate deadly viruses, have people fight against each other, and find thelaunch codes for nuclear missiles.”

Withthe advent of AI, high-end technologies such as drones, robots and autonomousvehicles have become increasingly advanced. Tech competition between countriesand companies around the world is getting fierce. No one can predict the impactof such technological advancements on the responsibility of law enforcement – maintaining public order andsecurity.

It could poseserious challenges for police, who ensure public safety and prevent crimes, toaddress AI-enabled crimes and cyber-enabled offences, including deepfakes,deepfake voices, fake news, cyber-attacks, among other things. Unknown andsophisticated hackers can paralyze digitally connected cities and a nation’scritical infrastructures at any time.

The global communityhas recognized that South Korean law enforcement has the capability ofcombatting cyber-crimes while simultaneously adopting technological advances inevery front. Yet, considering technology innovations that can also be used tocommit crimes and changes in social structure caused via diverse factors,including low birth rates, as the head of the National Police Agency (NPA), I,among others, am worried whether the current organization and system of thepolice has the proper resources to deal with these challenges.

The police reached aconclusion that adopting high-end technology for policing strategies is a keyto meeting these challenges. In 2015, the police began a project of “adopting new tools and technologies.” The related budgethas increased to 67.4 billion KRW (50.5 million USD) in 2023 from 2.2 billionKRW (1.65 million USD) in 2015. In collaboration with the Ministry of Scienceand ICT, the police have initiated a project, PoliceLab 2.0, which incorporates information and data based in practice.

“112 interactiveemergency video system” is of great help in rapid response to save lives byproviding real-time information on locations. AI-powered chatbot for victims ofsexual violence (Pol-bot) is a representative example of human-centeredtechnology. Other items are also ready to use – a foldable shield to protect low enforcement against weapons andthrown objects, an outdoor stab proof vest, a smart revolver (a non-lethalhandgun to minimize casualties), and the like. Gait analysis systems andbrainwave authentication are expected to raise technological capabilities incrime prevention and policing. Unmanned security robots are also underdevelopment. Urban Air Mobility (UAM) to work in conjunction with the police isin the pipe line.

It is equallyimportant to develop a program to “manage stress and health for policeofficers.” Performing their duties on the front line requires emotional and/orphysical tension. Police personnel commonly work extended hours inever-changing environments, which can cause great mental and physical stress.When recruiting participants in this project last year, a whopping 2,500 policeofficers applied for this program in just six minutes. Nothing more aptly shows the on-going problem than this. Investing inpolice officers' physical and mental health and wellness can be the best way tokeep everyone safe.

Employingnew tools and technologies in policing is no longer an option. It is a must.Maintaining public order is a cornerstone for national development. That is whyI declared “proactive, futuristic policing strategies” as the most essentialgoal and designated 2023 as the “first year of implementing this goal,” whiletaking office as the chief of the NPA in August 2022.

TheNPA recently established a new bureau dedicated to futuristic policingstrategies to meet the challenges of evolving technology and a rapidly shiftinglandscape. As a command center, this bureau also plans to build a virtuouscycle, in which R&D and on-site testing of products for public order andsafety will lead to the promotion of industry related the products and theexport of the related products. The ultimate goal of the new division is toposition itself as the leader of a “second defense industry,” helping thenational economy, while dealing with new forms of crimes and unprecedent riskfactors. The police will double down on adopting new tools and advancedtechnologies for public order and safety.