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Moving Toward the Future of Policing

Moving Toward the Future of Policing

Gregory F. Treverton
Matt Wollman
Elizabeth Wilke
Deborah Lai
Copyright Date: 2011
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 182
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  • Book Info
    Moving Toward the Future of Policing
    Book Description:

    Advances in technology and operating concepts are driving significant changes in the day-to-day operations of future police forces. This book explores potential visions of the future of policing, based on the drivers of jurisdiction, technology, and threat, and includes concrete steps for implementation. The analysis is based on a review of policing methods and theories from the 19th century to the present day.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-5325-1
    Subjects: Political Science, Law

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  4. Figures
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Tables
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xiii-xx)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxi-xxii)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxiii-xxvi)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Framing the Future
    (pp. 1-14)

    Imagine a future investigation of a home invasion robbery. En route to responding to the call, the police—officer she might now be called a customer service representative—searches databases and, while she drives, hears descriptions of any recent relevant incidents in the neighborhood, calls from the house, and previous law enforcement visits. The victims are not hurt, and they provide some description of the perpetrators and their methods. One of the victims also managed to get a slightly dark cell phone picture of one of the thieves in profile. The officer arrives and images the scene for fingerprints. She...

  10. CHAPTER TWO Policing Today
    (pp. 15-42)

    As our friend and colleague, Lt. John Sullivan of the Los Angeles Sheriff’ s Department, puts it,

    In many ways, film and video capture the cop’s life better than written text. For me Barney Miller was just about right in my appreciation of the day-to-day feelings. . . . Police work is routine, mundane boredom, punctuated by sheer terror, mayhem, crisis, excitement, and bureaucratic blunder. On top of this add valor, compassion, and drama. It strikes at the core of human life and experience (in all weather) . . . .

    Film may be more graphic, but cops writing about...

  11. CHAPTER THREE Crime Does Not Respect Jurisdiction
    (pp. 43-68)

    Crime is increasingly mismatched to the way policing is organized. Policing is still preeminently organized by geography—forces, districts, and precincts. Criminal networks, however, are not. For example, the financial institution plundered may be in Manhattan, but the cyber criminals who did the deed in Moscow, with five computer networks in between. Cooperation among police agencies has increased, but mostly in incremental ways, such as through Interpol or by jurisdictions inviting fellow officers from elsewhere to join them on “their” turf. Yet the drug gangs operating in Nogales, Sonora, are the same as those in Nogales, Arizona. The existence of...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR The Technology Revolution Enables Change
    (pp. 69-88)

    In 1847, Samuel Colt introduced his invention, the revolver pistol, to Captain Samuel Walker of the Texas Rangers, who ordered 1,000 of them for use in the Mexican-American War. Not long after, Colt’s pistol replaced the dagger-knife as the country’s most popular murder weapon. The pistols also became a standard-issue weapon to police officers in departments nationwide. For a later generation of police officers, the big innovation was the automobile, which vastly extended their range and reach.

    This chapter is about technology’s potential as an enabler, as well as its potential to stymie departments that are averse to its thoughtful...

  13. CHAPTER FIVE The Threat Will Continue to Morph
    (pp. 89-106)

    If our world and its technology will not stand still, neither will those of the bad guys. The rapid pace of technological advancement, coupled with more than a century of intense globalization, has led to a highly interconnected world, characterized by the unprecedented movement of goods, services, people, finances, and ideas both across and within borders. These changes have helped to fundamentally alter the nature of the threat to society from crime.

    Technological advances; the increasing movement of goods, services, and information; and changing social, economic, and demographic conditions have altered the nature of the crimes, the criminals, and the...

  14. CHAPTER SIX Concepts of Operations Are Critical
    (pp. 107-130)

    If the technologies are now with us or soon will be, the critical challenges are operational, what are called concepts of operations, or ConOps. Some are trivial but could be important, like the change of titles in the introduction’s vignette, from “officer” to “customer service representative.” Others are practical, like finding resources to deploy today’s technology rather than having to live with the previous generation’s. Another set of challenges runs to the culture of police organizations. When asked what their police forces will look like in 20 years, police chiefs almost always say “much like now,” though with changes in...

  15. CHAPTER SEVEN Moving Toward the Vision
    (pp. 131-138)

    Too often, visions of the future founder on the sense that everything must change before anything can. While the vision of future policing set out in this book is not only compelling, but also necessary lest the bad guys become the winners, it cannot be constructed everywhere overnight. So, this chapter begins by summarizing the vision and then turns to specific steps departments can take to move toward it. The book concludes with an invitation to the readers to take over, giving us their reactions and comments via answers to selected questions.

    Recall the vignettes of future policing in this...

  16. Bibliography
    (pp. 139-156)
  17. Back Matter
    (pp. 157-157)