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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 204045 Find in a Library
Title: Preparing for the Challenges Ahead: Practical Applications of Futures Research
Journal: FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin  Volume:73  Issue:1  Dated:January 2004  Pages:2-6
Author(s): Sandy Boyd Ed.D.; Alberto Mellis; Richard Myers
Date Published: January 2004
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: HTML
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the practical application of futures research by law enforcement professionals.
Abstract: Most people, including law enforcement personnel, do nothing about the future. Police work, by its very nature, focuses on responding to existing threats to the public’s safety, and law enforcement professionals concerned about the future usually concentrate on the next budget year, rather than on a 5- or 10-year strategic plan for their agencies. To help illustrate the importance of futures research, the authors present three scenarios that depict probable, possible, and preferred outcomes of the future. Each scenario then poses a question that all law enforcement agencies should answer based upon their preparedness to handle similar situations. The remedy to the questions posed by the scenarios lies in futures research and in preparing law enforcement officers to have the capacity not only to manage change but also to thrive on it. Futures research leads to the examination of the probable, possible, and preferable outcomes of the future and provides a basis for decisionmaking today that will lead to a preferable future. Forecasting can be as simple as analyzing emerging trends and thinking about their potential outcomes. Law enforcement agencies rely heavily on information management and individuals who manage the data. Such organizational resources can help agencies broaden their views of the future. In addition, government and law enforcement lag behind the private sector in both the use of technologies and the development of expertise in such applications. To keep one step ahead of the criminals, the police must insert themselves at the beginning of the creative processes that develop new products and techniques. Futures research can also help law enforcement administrators determine what type of officers they will need in the future, and how to identify and obtain the necessary resources. As such, futures research can aid those facing the daunting task of trying to accurately predict how to prepare for the challenges that lie ahead in today’s ever-changing and increasingly fast-paced world. Endnotes
Main Term(s): Long range planning
Index Term(s): Future of policing; Future trends; Police management; Policing innovation; Research and development
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