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CRITICAL ISSUES IN POLICING SERIES

“How Are Innovations in Technology Transforming Policing?”

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CRITICAL ISSUES IN POLICING SERIES

“How Are Innovations in Technology Transforming Policing?”

January 2012

This publication was supported by the Motorola Solutions Foundation. The points of view expressed herein are the authors’ and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the Motorola Solutions Foundation or individual Police Executive Research Forum members. Police Executive Research Forum, Washington, D.C. 20036 Copyright 2012 by Police Executive Research Forum All rights reserved Printed in the United States of America ISBN: 978-1-934485-17-0 Cover photo credits. Top row, left to right: Jonathan McIntosh/Flickr and Gary Brown/Flickr. Middle row: Gerry Prevost/Flickr, Chicago Police Department, and Thomas Hawk/Flickr. Bottom row: Minneapolis Police Department and Kansas City, Missouri Police Department. Cover and interior design by Dave Williams.

Contents

Acknowledgments .................................................................................................i Introduction .........................................................................................................iii PERF Survey Shows Widespread Use of Many Technologies in Policing .................................................................1 Websites and Social Media ........................................................................4 Cameras ...................................................................................................13 Sidebars Ensuring that Police Can Achieve Wireless Broadband Transmission of Data .........18 William Bratton: Technology in Policing Is a Matter of Embracing Change .............22

Gunshot Detection Systems ....................................................................25 License Plate Readers ..............................................................................28 Special Issues in Use of Technology ........................................................35 Sidebar Albuquerque Police Work with Businesses to Reduce Crime......................................38

Conclusion ...............................................................................................44 About PERF.........................................................................................................45 About Motorola Solutions and the Motorola Solutions Foundation ...........46 Appendix: PERF Executive Session Participants ...........................................47

Acknowledgments

One of the biggest and most important

challenges facing police chiefs—and a challenge that they cannot delegate to subordinates—is the need to sort through the variety of new policing technologies that have come on the scene in recent years. Technology can make policing more efficient—always a key consideration, but especially during times of budget cuts. But technology costs time and money to acquire and deploy, and there are many different technologies to choose from. Are license plate readers effective in preventing or solving auto thefts and other crimes? Or do surveillance cameras give you more bang for the buck? Should technology dollars be spent beefing up computer systems that support Compstat and predictive analytics? What about using social media to develop collaborations with businesses and community groups to fight crime? And what are the civil rights implications of these new policing technologies? It is clear that these types of questions will become even more important in coming years, as technology continues to advance and diversify. Thus, the role of technology in policing was a perfect topic for the “Critical Issues in Policing” series produced by PERF. This report, the 19th in the Critical Issues series, summarizes what we found when we brought together more than 100 police chiefs and other leaders in the field for an Executive Session in...
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