Digital Technology is Transforming Policing

Digital Policing Impacts Operations, Investigations and Courts

Digital Policing – the application of digital technology to policing – impacts three vital functions: operations, investigations and courts.

Operations Challenges

  • Due to siloed information, responding officers don’t always receive all relevant information in a timely manner, putting their safety at risk and reducing their effectiveness
  • Flat budgets and increasing workloads mean departments have to do more with less
  • Heightened public and media scrutiny puts pressure on police resources
  • Inefficient processes result in suboptimal allocation of resources
  • Without analytic tools to identify crime patterns and trends and recommend optimizations of available resources, crime prevention opportunities are missed

Investigations Challenges

  • Although there are many proprietary software solutions in use today for digital evidence management and collaboration and sharing, each one is a digital silo
  • Time-consuming, manual processes for the collection, analysis and sharing of digital evidence waste investigators’ time and result in delayed or unclosed cases
  • Vital information is unidentified, uncollected and unused, so that investigators can’t see the complete picture, leaving cases unsolved and unprosecuted

Courts Challenges

  • Variety and amount of physical evidence make it difficult to prepare and present a coherent case
  • Cases take up more court time than they should because of the difficulty in reviewing, analyzing and sharing digital evidence on physical media
  • Inability to easily review, analyze and summarize evidence results in fewer prosecution decisions
  • Long chain of custody increases risk of challenges by defense
  • Cases not prosecuted or unsuccessful prosecutions due to lost physical evidence or unreadable digital evidence

Challenges of Digital Evidence

Watch Charles, H. Ramsey, former Philadelphia police commissioner talk about the challenges investigators face while collecting, analyzing and sharing evidence.