Needs and Prospects for Crime-Fighting Technology

The Federal Role in Assisting State and Local Law Enforcement

by William Schwabe


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Most policing in the United States is done by law enforcement agencies at the local level. Although most Americans prefer that policing be controlled locally, there is considerable support for federal help in funding police. One area in which federal funding has been seen as useful is in the development, testing, and implementation of improved technology. An initiative proposed by the Clinton administration would increase funding of state and local law enforcement, with emphasis on technology assistance, technology deployment, crime lab improvements, and training. This report provides information on the current status in each of these, gives examples of what has been accomplished, and suggests prospects for improvements.

Table of Contents

  • Preface

  • Tables

  • Summary

    Executive Summary

  • Acknowledgements


  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    Contextual Overview

  • Chapter Three

    Responsive Technology Assistance

  • Chapter Four

    Technology Deployment

  • Chapter Five

    21st Century Crime Labs

  • Chapter Six

    Bridging the Training Gap

  • Chapter Seven


  • References

The research was supported by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and performed under the auspices of RAND's Science and Technology Unit.

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