Chapter

Horizons of Technology

Peter K. Manning

in Policing Contingencies

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2003 | ISBN: 9780226503516
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226503523 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226503523.003.0006
Horizons of Technology

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The nature of police information, gathered in a context, means that innovations in technology do not have results consistent with an engineering-based information-driven conception of the impact of information systems on organizational efficacy. The primary contingency of policing, the focus and theme of modern policing, patterns the work. A review of the types of technology that have been attractive to police suggests that mobility and weaponry still are considered the fundamentals and that training is least innovative. The transformative devices and new analytic devices have promise. A history of IT shows that a great critical mass of data or facts and some information are being gathered with no purpose, aim, or consequence. The core of policing, the patrol function, sets and determines how, why, and where what information is obtained, how it is processed, and what is and can be done with it. The introduction of new and more refined information systems is inconsistent with present practice. Future shifts toward prevention and software, mechanics, or equipment alone will not accomplish problem solving.

Keywords: police technology; modern policing; police information; weaponry; mobility; transformative devices; analytic devices

Chapter.  8666 words. 

Subjects: Social Theory

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