Information Systems and Law Enforcement

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INFORMATION SYSTEMS AND LAW ENFORCEMENT

Technology is an essential tool to criminal justice and law enforcement agencies. The faster and more effectively it works, the safer our streets and communities are. The more cost effectively it can work, the more officers, investigators and agents can be used to fight crime. Not paperwork. Since the first wave of computerization in the 1970’s the implementation of information technology within policing has been questioned and often met with resistance(Hoey, P.69). The development of an Information Technology strategy must be viewed in the context of increasing expectations and pressure for reform within the police service as a whole and is set against a background of reports and studies aimed at letting the police service meet it’s goals more effectively. The business environment in which police forces operate is changing; increased demands for efficiency has led to information technology being recognized as a valuable and innovative addition to policing. Over the last decade, computer and telecommunications technologies have developed at an extraordinary rate. Increased computer power, advances in data transmission and attractive and user-friendly graphic interfaces present law enforcement agencies with unprecedented capacity to collect, store, analyze and share data with stakeholders inside and outside of government(Reichert, 2001). Ultimately, information technology represents a tool to help law enforcement achieve it broadened and increasingly complex mission. This holds true for the past and the future. Historically, the innovation of information systems has served as the catalyst for dramatic changes in the organization of police work and has presented both opportunities and challenges to police and other criminal justice practitioners, according to Janet Chan (Reichert, 2001). Noting that information is the stock-in trade of policing. In 1967, under the FBI director J. Edgar Hoover...
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