Needs and Prospects for Crime-Fighting Technology: The Federal Role in Assisting State and Local Law Enforcement
Jan 1, 1999
Note: Many electronic documents posted prior to 2003 are available as chapter PDFs or HTML files linked from the Contents.
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Under the American federal system, most law is cast as state statutes and local ordinances; accordingly, most law enforcement is the responsibility of state and local agencies. Federal law and federal law enforcement come into play only where there is rationale for it, consistent with the Constitution. Within this framework, a clear role has been identified for federal support of state and local agencies. This report provides findings of a study of technology in use or needed by law enforcement agencies at the state and local level, for the purpose of informing federal policymakers as they consider technology-related support for these agencies. In addition, it seeks to characterize the obstacles that exist to technology adoption by law enforcement agencies and to characterize the perceived effects of federal assistance programs intended to facilitate the process. The study findings are based on a nationwide Law Enforcement Technology Survey and a similar Forensics Technology Survey (FTS) conducted in late spring and early summer2000, interviews conducted throughout the year, focus groups conducted in autumn 2000, and review of an extensive, largely nonacademic literature. Companion reports: Schwabe, William, Needs and Prospects for Crime-Fighting Technology: The Federal Role in Assisting State and Local Law Enforcement, Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND, 1999. Davis, Lois M., William Schwabe, and Ronald Fricker, Challenges and Choices for Crime-Fighting Technology: Results from Two Nationwide Surveys, Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND, 2001.
Executive Summary PDF
List of Abbreviations PDF
Law Enforcement's Use of Technology
Crime Prevention PDF
First Response PDF
Investigation and Apprehension PDF
Forensic Analysis PDF
Administration and Management PDF
Federal Challenges and Choices PDF
Sources of Technology Information and Support PDF
Research, Development, and Deployment PDF
Technology Application PDF
Challenges and Choices PDF
RAND Survey Methodology PDF
Examples of NLECTC Technology Assistance Activities PDF
"A local agency may think they need certain types of technology, but after reading this they may realize some technology could be a hindrance to operations … Schwabe et al. (2001) created an informative study which could be useful for policy makers, law enforcement agencies, and researchers. This publication was a good example of how research can be transformed into informed policy recommendations."
- Criminal Justice Policy Review