By William Schwabe, Lois M. Davis, Brian A. Jackson
This file presents findings of a examine of know-how in use or wanted through legislation enforcement companies on the kingdom and native point, for the aim of informing federal policymakers as they give thought to technology-related help for those corporations.
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Additional resources for Challenges and Choices for Crime-Fighting Technology: Federal Support of State and Local Law Enforcement
OVERARCHING ISSUES Throughout our research there were a number of larger issues that came to our attention. While some of these do inform our recommendations above, they are largely beyond the scope of the study or are not explicitly addressed in our survey work. They bear mention, however, if only to help remind policymakers of the larger context, problems, and prospects of employing technology more effectively with our law enforcement departments and agencies. Among the meta issues that were identified through our interactions with the law enforcement community are the following: Forensic Sciences.
As discussed previously, this value must be viewed with the understanding that it contains judgments about the absolute costs of the devices but also the relative benefits associated with their possession and use. As before, rural and urban departments serving populations less than 25,000 were more likely to cite cost as a limiting factor than larger urban departments. Nine to eleven percent of departments cited training requirements as a limiting factor; this suggests that the human resource issues of integrating these devices into current operations was seen as slightly more serious than for the video systems.
While acknowledging the potential for abuse, if it is used well, technology more likely offers hope for increasing the fairness and justice of law enforcement. In the light of a lengthening string of well-publicized examples, the value of DNA testing to identify the guilty and exonerate the innocent is becoming widely known. Later in this report we comment on how crime mapping, video recording of police-public interactions, and quick access to criminal justice databases can improve not only crime-fighting effectiveness and efficiency but also police accountability.