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Fifth Element

NCJ Number
Police: The Law Enforcement Magazine Volume: 26 Issue: 8 Dated: August 2002 Pages: 24-26,28
Lois Pilant
David Griffith
Date Published
August 2002
4 pages
This article examines the use of several high-tech informational tools (fifth element) by law enforcement in the area of SWAT tactics where law enforcement presents an asymmetrical response.
In this article, the concept of fifth-dimensional battlespace, typically applied to military operations, is explored in its affect on law enforcement especially in the area of SWAT tactics. The fifth element is the use of high-tech information gathering tools allowing law enforcement SWAT officers to overcome the physical limitations and the dimension of time. SWAT officers are moved from their symmetrical (balanced) response into an asymmetrical (unbalanced) response, operating in anonymity and exploiting the adversary’s weaknesses. All the high-tech devices presented and discussed, such as sensing technologies, night vision and thermal imagers, robots, and digital video surveillance increase an officer’s awareness. Dependable intelligence, effective decisions, and efficient operations are dependent on reliable, accurate, and timely information.