Wearable Sensor Technology and Potential Uses Within Law Enforcement

Many wearable sensor technology (WST) devices on the market enable individuals and organizations to track and monitor personal health metrics in real time. These devices are worn by the user and contain sensors to capture various biomarkers. Although these technologies are not yet sufficiently developed for law enforcement purposes overall, WSTs continue to advance rapidly and offer the potential to equip law enforcement officers and agencies with data to improve officer safety, health, and wellness.

The RAND Corporation and the Police Executive Research Forum, on behalf of the National Institute of Justice, organized a workshop of practitioners, researchers, and developers to discuss the current state of WST and how it might be applied by law enforcement organizations. Workshop participants discussed possible issues with acceptance of WST among members of law enforcement; new policies that will be necessary if and when WST is introduced in a law enforcement setting; and what data are gathered, how these data are collected, and how they are interpreted and used.