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SOUTH DAKOTA TELETYPE STUDY

NCJ Number
68867
Author(s)
S FLYGER; L MERRICK
Date Published
1978
Length
57 pages
Annotation
THIS STUDY DISCUSSES CURRENT LEVELS OF SATISFACTION WITH THE LAW ENFORCEMENT TELETYPE, FUTURE ALTERNATIVES FOR THE SYSTEM, AND POSSIBLE CHANGES IN FUNDING SOURCES.
Abstract
SOUTH DAKOTA EMPLOYS A ONE-WAY TELETYPE SYSTEM FOR COMMUNICATION BETWEEN STATE AGENCIES AND FOR TRANSMISSION OF INFORMATION (ON STOLEN GOODS, WANTED CRIMINALS, WEATHER AND ROAD CONDITIONS, AND VEHICLE AND DRIVER'S LICENSE CHECKS) FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES. THE SOUTH DAKOTA TELETYPE NETWORK OF 94 USER AGENCIES COOPERATES WITH THE NATIONAL LAW ENFORCEMENT TELECOMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS, A NATIONAL INFORMATION SYSTEM NETWORK OF 49 STATES, AND THE NATIONAL CRIME INFORMATION CENTER, THE COMPUTER CENTER OPERATED BY THE FBI. BECAUSE LEAA FUNDING OF THE SYSTEM WOULD BE TERMINATED AFTER 1980, USER AGENCIES WERE SURVEYED TO DETERMINE CURRENT ASSESSMENT AND FUTURE FUNDING CAPABILITIES. THE 71 RESPONDENTS SHOWED AN OVERALL HIGH LEVEL OF USER SATISFACTION, SPECIFICALLY CITING TELETYPE'S SPEED AND ACCURACY. MOREOVER, SOME STATE HIGHWAY PATROL COMPONENTS AND LOCAL POLICE AND SHERIFF'S OFFICES EXPRESSED THE NEED FOR INCREASED TELECOMMUNICATIONS CAPABILITIES. ON THE OTHER HAND, DISSATISFIED RESPONDENTS IDENTIFIED MECHANICAL DIFFICULTIES AND EXPENSES AS MAJOR DRAWBACKS. LESS THAN HALF THE RESPONDING USERS REPORTED SUFFICIENT STAFF TO CONTINUOUSLY OPERATE THE TELETYPE MACHINE. ALTHOUGH THE MAJORITY OF LOCAL LEVEL RESPONDENTS WERE WILLING TO INCREASE THEIR FUNDING OF THE SYSTEM, BUDGETARY CONCERNS WERE CLEARLY AN ISSUE. THE FOUR FORMER USERS SURVEYED REVEALED THAT THE COST OF MAINTAINING THEIR OWN TERMINALS FORCED THEM EITHER TO SHARE A TERMINAL WITH ANOTHER AGENCY OR TO RELY ON A SEPARATE DEPARTMENT'S ASSISTANCE. WHEN QUESTIONED ON WHETHER THE COST OF TWO-WAY TELETYPES COULD BE JUSTIFIED AT THE LOCAL LEVEL, 32 PERCENT OF THE RESPONDENTS AGREED, 45 PERCENT DISAGREED, AND 22 PERCENT HAD NO OPINION. ON THE STATE LEVEL A TWO-WAY TELETYPE SYSTEM WOULD INCREASE ADMINISTRATIVE MESSAGE TRANSMISSIONS, RESULTING IN ANTICIPATED SAVINGS IN PHONE AND POSTAGE EXPENSES AND PERSONNEL COSTS. RESEARCH INSTRUMENTS AND DATA TABLES ARE APPENDED.