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Optimizing the Use of Technology in Policing: Results and Implications from a Multi-Site Study of the Social, Organizational, and Behavioral Aspects of Implementing Police Technologies

NCJ Number
Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice Volume: 8 Issue: 2 Dated: June 2014 Pages: 212-221
Christopher Koper; Cynthia Lum; James Willis
Date Published
June 2014
10 pages
This article presents selected results from a multi-agency study to improve understanding of both technology's effects on policing and the contextual aspects of policing that shape the uses and effectiveness of police technology.
Although technology holds great promise for improving policing, research on police technology is not well developed and raises questions about technology's impacts. Focusing on selected technologies, the current study investigated these issues through interviews, focus groups, surveys, and other methods. Findings suggest that the effects of technology are complex and that technological advancements do not always produce obvious or easy improvements in productivity, communication, cooperation, management, or job satisfaction. Further, police often fail to make strategically optimal uses of technology for reducing crime and serving citizens. This article offers suggestions for organizational strategies, training, and research that may help police to improve their acquisition and use of technology. (Publisher abstract modified)