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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 47431 Find in a Library
Title: POLICE AND COMPUTERS - THE USE, IMPLEMENTATION AND IMPACT OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY IN U S POLICE DEPARTMENTS (FROM MAPPING AND RELATED APPLICATIONS OF COMPUTERS TO CANADIAN POLICE WORK, BY J E WATKIN & F R LIPSETT - SEE NCJ-47416)
Author(s): K W COLTON
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 20
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
US Dept of Justice

US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 76-NI-90-043
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Historical Overview
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: THE EVOLUTION OF COMPUTER USE IS DISCUSSED WITH REGARD TO THE DEVELOPMENT, APPLICATION, IMPLEMENTATION, AND IMPACT OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AS CONCERNS POLICE DEPARTMENTS IN THE U.S.
Abstract: THREE QUESTIONS ARE ADDRESSED IN THIS PAPER: (1) HOW COMPUTERS ARE USED BY THE POLICE AND HOW THIS USE HAS EVOLVED OVER TIME; (2) HOW SUCCESSFUL THE IMPLEMENTATION OF COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY HAS BEEN IN THE LAW ENFORCEMENT AREA; AND (3) WHAT THE IMPACT OF COMPUTER-RELATED TECHNOLOGY IS. OVER THE PAST DECADE THERE HAS BEEN A SIGNIFICANT GROWTH IN THE USE OF COMPUTERS BY U.S. POLICE DEPARTMENTS. SURVEY WORK PERFORMED IN 1971 AND 1974 HAS SHOWN THIS RISE TO BE ESPECIALLY APPARENT FOR ROUTINE OR STRUCTURED COMPUTER APPLICATIONS WHERE THE TECHNOLOGY IS USED TO CARRY OUT STRAIGHTFORWARD, REPETITIVE INFORMATION PROCESSING ACTIVITIES, SUCH AS REAL TIME PATROL AND INQUIRY FILES, TRAFFIC RECORDS, AND CRIME REPORTS OF A STATISTICAL NATURE. IN GENERAL, THOUGH, THE GROWTH OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY HAS BEEN SLOWER THAN THE RATE POLICE DEPARTMENTS HAD PREDICTED IN THE EARLY 1970'S. FURTHER, WHEN COMPUTER APPLICATIONS EXTEND BEYOND ROUTINE USES TO NONROUTINE EFFORTS, SUCH AS RESOURCE ALLOCATION OR COMPUTER-AIDED DISPATCH, IN WHICH THE MACHINE BEGINS TO BECOME A TOOL FOR DECISIONMAKING, STRATEGIC PLANNING, AND MAN/MACHINE INTERACTION, THE RESULTS TO DATE HAVE BEEN MIXED. IN NONROUTINE APPLICATIONS, THE PROCESS OF IMPLEMENTATION IS FAR MORE COMPLEX, AND UNEXPECTED CONSEQUENCES ARISE. A SERIES OF CASE STUDIES PERFORMED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY HAVE PROVIDED USEFUL INSIGHTS INTO THE IMPLEMENTATION AND IMPACT OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, AND SPECIFIC CONCLUSIONS HAVE BEEN DRAWN. THESE ARE: (1) EXPERIMENTATION WILL CONTINUE TO GROW, BUT SUCCESS WILL CONTINUE TO BE LIMITED, AND SOME OF THE EARLIER EXPECTATIONS IN THIS AREA WILL NOT BE MET; (2) MODELING EFFORTS HELP DECISIONMAKERS AND RESEARCHERS TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM, BUT THE EDUCATIONAL PROCESS MUST BE TWO-WAY; (3) THERE IS A STRONG NEED FOR CAREFUL EVALUATION AND SPECIAL ATTENTION TO THE PROCESS OF IMPLEMENTATION; AND (4) THERE IS NO ONE BEST WAY TO ALLOCATE LAW ENFORCEMENT RESOURCES. FURTHER, IN ORDER TO SECURE THE SUCCESSFUL IMPLEMENTATION OF COMPUTERS, IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT THE QUALITY OF COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY BE IMPROVED; THAT BETTER QUALITY CONTROLS BETWEEN VENDORS AND USERS BE ESTABLISHED; THAT GREATER INTERACTION BETWEEN THE BUILDERS OF TECHNOLOGY AND THE USERS BE INITIATED; AND THAT GREATER INTEGRITY OF PERSONAL BEHAVIOR AMONG INDIVIDUALS INVOLVED IN THE PROCESS OF INNOVATION IMPLEMENTATION BE PURSUED. GRAPHIC DATA ARE PROVIDED. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED -- KBL)
Index Term(s): Computer aided operations; Police information systems
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=47431

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