Multi-Site Study of the Potential of Technology in Policing [United States], 2012-2013. (ICPSR 35479)

Principal Investigator(s): Koper, Christopher, George Mason University; Lum, Cynthia, George Mason University; Davis, Robert, Police Executive Research Forum

Summary:

These data are part of NACJD's Fast Track Release and are distributed as they were received from the data depositor. The files have been zipped by NACJD for release, but not checked or processed except for the removal of direct identifiers. Users should refer to the accompanying readme file for a brief description of the files available with this collection and consult the investigator(s) if further information is needed.

This study examined the impact of technology on social, organizational, and behavioral aspects of policing. The present data represents an officer-level survey of four law enforcement agencies, designed to answer the following questions: (1) how are technologies used in police agencies across ranks and organizational sub-units? (2) how does technology influence organizational and personal aspects of police including - operations, culture, behavior, and satisfaction? (3) how do organizational and individual aspects of policing concurrently shape the use and effectiveness of technology? (4) how does technology affect crime control efforts and police-community relationships? (5) what organizational practices help to optimize the use of technology with an emphasis on enhance effectiveness and legitimacy?

Access Notes

  • These data are part of NACJD's Fast Track Release and are distributed as they were received from the data depositor. The files have been zipped by NACJD for release, but not checked or processed except for the removal of direct identifiers. Users should refer to the accompanying readme file for a brief description of the files available with this collection and consult the investigator(s) if further information is needed.

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions ; consult the restrictions note to learn more. You can apply online for access to the restricted-use data. A login is required to apply.

    Access to these data is restricted. Users interested in obtaining these data must complete a Restricted Data Use Agreement, specify the reasons for the request, and obtain IRB approval or notice of exemption for their research.

    Any public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

Dataset(s)

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Study Description

Citation

Koper, Christopher, Cynthia Lum, and Robert Davis. Multi-Site Study of the Potential of Technology in Policing [United States], 2012-2013.. ICPSR35479-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2017-06-06. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR35479.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR35479.v1

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Funding

This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (2010-MU-MU-0019)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    crime reduction, job satisfaction, police performance, surveillance, technological change, technology

Smallest Geographic Unit:    None

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 2012--2013

Date of Collection:   

  • 2010-10--2014-12

Unit of Observation:    Individual

Universe:    All law enforcement personnel in the United States between 2012 and 2013.

Data Type(s):    experimental data, observational data, survey data

Data Collection Notes:

These data are part of NACJD's Fast Track Release and are distributed as they were received from the data depositor. The files have been zipped by NACJD for release, but not checked or processed except for the removal of direct identifiers. Users should refer to the accompanying readme file for a brief description of the files available with this collection and consult the investigator(s) if further information is needed.

The qualitative data (trend analysis, filed experiment and quasi-experimental and process evaluation data) are not available as part of this data collection.

An SPSS syntax file describing how summary variables were computed is included in this release

Methodology

Study Purpose:   

The purpose of this study was to investigate how technology utilization impacts policing. Specifically, what purposes are technology used for, how does technology influence police, at both the organizational and individual level, how does the use of technology affect crime control efforts and community policing and what organization practices and changes help to optimize the use of technologies in enhancing police effectiveness. To answer these question the study focused on nine key themes

  • agencies experience with technological innovation
  • Police culture
  • Organizational units, hierarchy and structure
  • Internal accountability and management systems
  • Individual officer/ supervisor discretion and decision making
  • Efficiency of police processes and daily work productivity
  • Effectiveness in reducing crime (prevention, detection, and deterrence)
  • Police-citizen communication and police legitimacy
  • Job satisfaction

Study Design:   

The study design was multimethod case studies conducted in four large police agencies. In each study site, the case studies entailed a technology survey, interviews, focus groups, and field observations.

The sworn officer technology survey was administered to all sworn personal in the study's four agencies. The survey was conducted online. The command staff of each agency sent an email to all sworn staff that proved background on the project and explained the purpose of the survey. Participation was voluntary and anonymous. The survey was conducted over several weeks in each agency, sending out periodic reminder emails.

In addition to the survey interviews, focus groups, and field observations were conducted with sworn and civilian personnel from various units and ranks in each agency. The George Mason research team conducted the interviews and focus groups in agencies 1 and 2, while the Police Executive Research Forum assumed primary responsibility for the fieldwork in agencies 3 and 4.

For agency 1, George Mason also conducted a trend analysis of crime and case clearance before and after the agencies implementation of new record management system and license plate reader deployments. Examinations of the use and impact of mobile information technology as part of a randomized experiment on hot spots policing was also conducted. For agency 2, a quasi-experimental evaluation of the effects of an international information-sharing social media technology on the outcomes of robbery investigations was conducted.

Sample:    The case studies were conducted in four large police agencies serving a mix of urban and suburban jurisdictions. Each case study agency was selected because of its unique experience with one or more technologies of interest. All sworn personnel within each agency was sent a survey invitation with reminders.

Time Method:    Cross-sectional

Weight:    None

Mode of Data Collection:    coded on-site observation, face-to-face interview, mixed mode, web-based survey

Description of Variables:    The variables in the study (Data n=1,696, 531 variables) included background characteristics such as rank and assignment, cultural attitudes towards technology and implementation of technologies. Other variables pertain to agency structure, internal accountability, discretion and decision making, efficiencies of police processes and productivity, and effectiveness in reducing crime and assisting citizens, and job satisfaction.

Response Rates:    The response rate varied by agency with Agency 1 having a 39.9% response rate, Agency 2 having a 41.7% response rate, Agency 3 having a 17.3% response rate, and Agency 4 having a 20.1% response rate.

Presence of Common Scales:    Two Likert-type scales were used. The first scale ranged from strongly disagree to strongly agree and the second scale ranged from never to very often.

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:   2017-06-06

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