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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 118685 Find in a Library
Title: Small Agencies Use Computers
Journal: Law and Order  Volume:37  Issue:6  Dated:(June 1989)  Pages:37-41
Author(s): J Mallory
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 5
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Computers can facilitate police department work by tracking vehicle expenses, local arrest and field interrogation records, individual police officer caseloads, and the number of service calls by geographic area.
Abstract: Computers can also handle dispatch logs, track budget expenditures, and produce reports. Many sheriffs and police chiefs express an interest in computer aided dispatch (CAD) systems, but most indicate they are restricted by cost. One low-cost dispatch program, however, is available as shareware; users pay a fee of $49 to hook into the PC-DISPATCH system. Off-the-shelf CAD programs are also available, at a cost ranging from $500 to several thousand dollars depending on sophistication and the amount of information tracked. Some police departments have found that computers pay for themselves. Further, computers can sometimes be partially financed by State or Federal grants. Ten States, the District of Columbia, and Canada operate computer bulletin board systems. Police departments can connect their computer to such systems via telephone and copy what information is of interest to computer file. The National Institute of Justice operates a bulletin board that lists information on criminal justice, police management, police practices, weapons, jail construction, jail crowding, and drug abuse. The most rapidly developing trend in the computer industry is the fax machine; this machine allows users to send or receive both text and picture files. Since small police departments often lack in-house expertise to acquire and set up a computer, computer user groups are sometimes available to share knowledge and provide assistance on a low-cost or volunteer basis.
Main Term(s): Computer aided investigations
Index Term(s): Computer software; Law enforcement costs; Police effectiveness; Police management
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