This is the summary of a study funded by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) that examined the impact of dedicated mobile broadband technology on police operations and provides guidance for implementation and practice within the field ("Impact of Mobile Broadband Data Access on Police Operations: An Exploratory Case Study of One Medium-Sized Municipal Police Department")
The study examined how the implementation of dedicated mobile broadband technology changed the way that the Brookline (Massachusetts) Police Department operated. The changes included improved information-sharing with other departments, reduced time spent on administrative tasks, and improved police response time. This research provides guidance for mobile broadband implementation planning and policy development. This is done by presenting best practices and evidence-based outcomes. It also establishes an empirical foundation for future research. In addition to the necessary hardware and software, smooth implementation requires suitable wireless capability. The study of the Brookline Police Department's implementation of mobile broadband data access provided the research team an opportunity to evaluate key operational issues related to implementing such access on a dedicated network, as well as the capability to consider the role played by 4.9 GHz technology. The study showed that the technology was not difficult to use, and it produced benefits that included increased access to timely information, increased information flow, and improved quality. Integrating this technology into patrol functions should improve officer efficiency and create additional resources for crime prevention or other activities.