Police department investments in information technology systems challenges assessing their payoff

The potential effects of information technology (IT) systems on police productivity will be driven, in part, by the match between the technology and police activities. In modern policing, how information is used for reactive response to incidents is significantly different from proactive and communi...

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Main Authors: Jackson, Brian A., Greenfield, Victoria A. (Author), Moral, Andrew R. (Author), Hollywood, John S. (Author)
Corporate Author: Rand Corporation
Format: eBook
Language:English
Published: [Santa Monica, CA] RAND Corporation [2014]©2014, 2014
Online Access:
Collection: JSTOR Open Access Books - Collection details see MPG.ReNa
Summary:The potential effects of information technology (IT) systems on police productivity will be driven, in part, by the match between the technology and police activities. In modern policing, how information is used for reactive response to incidents is significantly different from proactive and community-policing activities, so we expect the effects of IT to be quite different. The authors developed a logic model of police functions to guide examination of the different expected effects of IT on productivity. The logic model helped guide a statistical analysis in an effort to identify productivity and budgetary effects of different IT investments in police departments. However, even the best available data were insufficient to break down police agencies' use of the technology at a sufficient level of granularity to provide meaningful results. Future efforts to assess the effects of IT systems on law enforcement performance can benefit from the results of the logic modeling and exploratory analysis. Specifically, it is important to collect data not just on department acquisition of IT systems, but also on how the systems are used and the activities that the use is intended to support. In considering potential productivity improvement from IT use, analysts need ways to measure relative levels of effort devoted to different police functions because the role of IT as a force multiplier means that its benefits will be driven, in part, by the force available to multiply
Item Description:Caption title
Physical Description:15 pages