Commentary and information about public safety and security, intelligence and counterintelligence, open government and secrecy, and other issues in northern Idaho and eastern Washington.

Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States

Raised in Palouse, WA. Graduated from Washington State University. US Army (Counterintelligence). US Secret Service (Technical Security Division) in Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac and Los Angeles. Now living in north Idaho.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Report: Law Enforcement Technology - Are Small and Rural Agencies Equipped and Trained?

Those of us who live in Kootenai County may think the Coeur d'Alene Police Department and the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department are small rural agencies. They are not; at least, not by national standards.

In its June 2004 study Law Enforcement Technology - Are Small and Rural Agencies Equipped and Trained?, the US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice notes that 90 percent of all law enforcement agencies in the United States have fewer than 50 sworn officers; half of all agencies have 10 or fewer. Nationally, 90 percent of law enforcement agencies serve populations of 25,000 or fewer.

The reported research was conducted to find out whether small and rural agencies are adopting new technologies, how important the agencies perceive these systems or devices to be in the operations, and whether or not the agencies have the ability to use new technologies.

What the researchers concluded was that while small and rural departments may use and be well-trained in the use of communications technologies, including laptop computers, they may be underusing such technologies as global positioning systems, digital imaging for fingerprints, less-than-lethal weapons, and other technologies that could help them do their jobs better. The report contains the details supporting those conclusions.


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