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NCJ Number: 200021 Find in a Library
Title: Stretching Your Resources
Journal: Law Enforcement Technology  Volume:30  Issue:4  Dated:April 2003  Pages:96,98,101
Author(s): Christa Miller
Date Published: April 2003
Page Count: 5
Type: Technical Assistance
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses developing regional consortia to share technology and funding information.
Abstract: A regional consortium consists of groups of police departments with mutual interest in funding a project or educating each other about available technology. The latest crime-fighting technology requires training and support that small agencies can’t afford alone. Small police departments, like larger ones, must compete with other public offices for budget money. Small and mid-size departments don’t have the budget for staff to research new technology or grant sources. Large agencies with a stake in new technology can help. User training must happen not just at implementation, but regularly, especially after upgrades. Often this is difficult even for a consortium to maintain. Although most departments have at least a technology-savvy officer, if not a full-time technical support person, expertise levels can vary. A consortium can ensure its members receive adequate tech support, whether it comes from the vendor, a local company or even other agencies. Consortium members should develop an agreement with each other. A consortium’s most important responsibility is equality among everyone. Each department must have autonomy. Some agencies should not become part of consortia when there are internal problems. Along with interoperability, consortia could pave the way for better standards, in the long term making technology projects easier to plan and implement. There are benefits not only for small agencies that can draw on larger agencies’ resources but also for the large departments. Public support can be broadened for funding a project.
Main Term(s): Police management; Technical assistance resources
Index Term(s): Administrative planning; Law enforcement costs; Law enforcement staff needs assessment; Police resource allocation; Technical assistance resources; Technical experts
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