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Cops, Computers and the Curriculum

NCJ Number
International Journal of Police Science & Management Volume: 8 Issue: 2 Dated: Summer 2006 Pages: 153-158
Mark R. McCoy
Date Published
6 pages
This article discusses the need to include computer training in the curricula of police academies, in order to improve computer literacy among police officers; recommendations are offered for achieving this.
The development of positive attitudes toward the computer and its uses are particularly important, since studies have shown that positive attitudes toward the computer are essential to a commitment to acquiring knowledge and skills in computer use. The challenge for law enforcement is to create computer-related curricula that can eliminate computer anxiety and increase competencies in operating computers and associated software used in law enforcement agencies. Computer hardware and software have become essential to the efficient and effective operation of police agencies; however, since the adoption of computers by law enforcement agencies, not many basic police academies have provided training in basic keyboarding skills or word-processing applications. Sanders (1982) outlined the following training objectives for minimum computer literacy: identification of the components of a computer system and demonstration of an understanding of the function of each component; identification of the types of computer software; awareness of the diverse uses of the computer in daily life and its applications in law enforcement work; awareness of the negative and positive impacts of computers on society; demonstration of a lack of anxiety, intimidation, or fear of computers; and confidence in one's ability to operate a computer and associated software. In addition, students should be able to describe the ethical use of computer technology and demonstrate good data security practices. 10 references