Ever since the DC Sniper attacks back in 2002, technology has changed in a way that it would be hard for people to actually commit a crime like this again. Nowadays, we have better ways in finding criminals like these. Of course, crimes will still happen. However, a crime like this wouldn’t drag out as long as it did back in the days simply because Law Enforcment has so many ways now to get real time information. These improvements have helped stop many crimes that have happened over the past couple decades that could’ve potentially spiraled into something more had we not advanced.

Surveillance Cameras

Surveillance or Security Cameras were around when the DC snipers struck. However, since then, cameras as a whole have advanced much better. We have better image quality, audio quality, longer memory and playback times. These advancements would’ve been very helpful and useful in finding the snipers a lot faster back then. Law enforcement would’ve been able to use these cameras in stores when they committed those crimes to identify the shooters with better image quality. It was clear Security Cameras weren’t as big a factor as they could’ve been back then because the Snipers were able to get away with a lot of robberies unidentified. Even if they were masked, a camera could have been able to catch their vehicles license plate or some detail that could help the authorities make out the shooter. The advancements to cameras nowadays would’ve helped out a lot. (Johnson “Policing”)

License Plate Readers

License Plate Readers are a huge one especially for this kind of crime. Nowadays, police officers can find anyone’s information by looking up their license plate attached to their vehicle. Authorities had plate readers back then. In fact, a plate reader is what helped catch these suspects. However, with how advanced they are now, it would’ve ended faster. We have a larger database, as well as cameras that read license plate numbers and run it in that database regularly on highway routes. This is big because back then, officers ran it in their system manually and police officers aren’t everywhere at one specific time. These License Plate Reader Cameras can and are almost everywhere on highways especially, which is a common route the suspects took to travel. (Johnson “Policing”)

Social Media

One of the main advancements from the time of the DC Sniper is social media. This industry is booming and in essence, you can know what is going on whenever and wherever at any given time. Back then, people mainly relied on the news coverage. Sometimes, the news alone isn’t enough to understand what’s happening around a certain event. Many things can happen to news networks that can mess with getting proper information out to people such as delayed broadcast or even corrupt networks to spread certain agendas leaving out important details on purpose. The reason social media takes over is because you are for the most part unrestricted with what you can show or talk about. This advancement would’ve helped with the DC Sniper because it would’ve helped relay information quicker to people rather than relying on their local news networks. (Johnson “Policing”)

Electronic Transaction Records

This is also a big advancement made by law enforcement because they can see all electronic transactions made by card or any other form of payment. This would’ve helped in finding the suspects faster because after identifying them, all they would’ve had to do was while investigating, wait for an electronic transaction and that would give them a tip on their location which would’ve dispatched officers immediately. Of course, there’s no guarantee that this would’ve worked as they most likely would’ve transacted through cash, but this is another law enforcement advancement that helps stop crimes today and would’ve definitely helped to find the DC Sniper. (Johnson “Policing”)