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Officer Perceptions of the Impact of Mobile Broadband Technology on Police Operations

NCJ Number
Policing and Society Volume: 27 Issue: 8 Dated: 2017 Pages: 847-864
Date Published
19 pages
Since there has been little insight into the technological advancement in data communications that directly influences the functioning of mobile computers, this research addressed this shortcoming by examining a police department that implemented a dedicated wireless mobile broadband system.

Research that has examined police departments' use of technology is underdeveloped compared to other areas of policing. This gap in the literature is troubling, since policing models are becoming more data-driven and thus, relying more heavily on information technologies. Arguably, the most used technology in policing practice and the one most often examined in policing research has been mobile computers. In the current study, a mixed-methods approach was employed within a medium-sized department in the northeast region of the United States. Survey data were obtained from 76 uniformed police personnel. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with key personnel to further contextualize survey results. Survey results suggest tentative support for improved time savings and execution of job tasks after the implementation of wireless broadband. Perceptions of mobile broadband impacts on information flow, quality, and accessibility appear positive. Considerations for future research and study limitations are discussed. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2017