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Will Microcomputers Impact the Patrol Officer of the Small Police Department?

NCJ Number
T D Alder
Date Published
67 pages
This study surveyed several police agencies and interviewed computer experts and police executives involved in automating their agencies as the basis for developing a 5-year plan for a small police agency's (fewer than 50 sworn personnel) use of microcomputer technology.
Microcomputer applications for small police agencies are developing sporadically and without direction. Generally, only those small departments with a computer expert on the staff have successfully implemented computer systems. A coordinated effort is required if computer applications are to be developed by police personnel rather than civilian professional programmers who may not have sufficient knowledge of police operations. A group of police administrators experienced in computer applications recommends that microcomputers in the small agency be concentrated, at least initially, in support services such as communications, records, and crime analysis. In a progressive 5-year plan the group proposes the purchase of microcomputers for word processing, the implementation of data base management systems, the purchase of additional microcomputers and the networking of existing systems to facilitate information sharing, the continuation of software development, and the purchase of microcomputers for patrol cars. 15 references, glossary. (Author abstract modified)