Developing an adequate information system as an asset for the police department is a very important issue for decision making in the department.
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In the race to improve the capability of succeeding in a fast-paced technological environment, human activities involve various risks. This situation has compelled organizations, whether governmental or nongovernmental, to advance their agility levels by executing more prudent decision-making processes. In the light of risk management strategies, most of such entities have strived successfully in fluctuating political, social, economic, and technological environments.
The police department is not left out in the need to embrace approaches to risk evasion (Johnson, Johnson, & Tolu 2013). Risk management in this organ involves various approaches, techniques, and technologies that are designed and developed to help different organs understand some imminent forces, whether natural or artificial, that may pose potential threats and loss the social, political, or economic status of a country. Risk can have adverse effects on the productivity, performance, quality, and budget of law enforcement agencies.
Life Cycle Management
Life cycle management is a progressive process that comprises a number of steps for improving the excellence, dependability, and adeptness of technology services. Effective and consistent execution of this process can save the police department a significant amount of time and money (Johnson, Johnson, & Tolu 2013). It forms a vital part of the risk management process. The planning and implementation of robust policing methodologies are vital for forecasting potential threats to the social, political, and economic aspects of a country. Major organizational models such as the contingency theory should also be used to relate the civil service system and its effects on the police organization.
At the back of fast-paced technology development, the transfer of information from one point to another has significantly improved. Power companies have constantly innovated, designed, and produces intelligent gadgets that can assist in risk management (Burke 2013; Johnson 2015).
The coordination of activities using technological means is particularly important for the law enforcement bodies since police executives and supervisors need to exchange information as fast as possible. The transfer of information has intensely improved owing to the production of tech-savvy gadgets that have features to determine the geographic location of an object (Burke 2013). The recognition and storage of data and machine automation have played a significant role in helping the police conduct investigations faster and in a controlled environment.
The development of an adequate information system to improve risk assessment in the police department is important since almost all duties of law enforcement officers expose them to daily liability episodes (Campbell, Jardine, & McGlynn 2016).
The ability of the police to use both lethal and non-lethal force further makes them vulnerable to legal action, liability claims, and/or citizen criticisms. For instance, the mishandling or misuse of lethal weapons by the police during activities such as forceful arrest may lead to damages to public property, which may require compensation. In this regard, prudent information systems can be developed to help the police locate and arrest criminals without using forceful means (Maney 2012).
Although patrol officers encourage police executives to manage liabilities, the application of the highest standards to the use of force requires technological support structures that enable them to identify and respond to imminent risks in time (Sharda, Delen, &Turban 2013). There has been a belief amongst many theorists, researchers, and executives in the police department that life cycle and risk management should entail rigorous designing, development, implementing, and monitoring of information technology infrastructure within the law enforcement bodies.
The development of an adequate information management system can save both time and financial resources in a number of ways. At the outset, the provision of real-time and appropriate information on criminals saves the time consumed in old manual systems, which are characterized by inaccuracy and even loss of data. The execution of the technology system in the police department will speed up the exchange of information among the executives (Storey 2014).
This information can be used to locate the geographical location of target criminals with a view of arresting and subjecting them to the law. In this case, cost management is realized because the police do not need to move around searching for wrong-doers in vain. Today’s smartphones have powerful features that are linked to Google maps to detect the location of the phone (Hopkin 2017). Using external applications, the police executives are able to locate the position of the gadget on the map; hence, seizing the victim. This process of arrest is significantly efficient and the cost is largely reduced (Brimicombe 2016). The police should also reduce the probability of risk by avoiding the use of excessive or unlawful force, which results in damage to public property and litigation claims.
Police Database System
It is inevitable that today’s world is technology-driven in almost every aspect of life. The management of criminal records is largely dependent on a police database system that records and retrieves real-time information (Brimicombe 2016). An automated crime record management system (CRMS) is a worldwide police database that contains the information of criminals. Since criminal activities violate variously shared norms in the society, the law enforcement bodies are enabled to keep track of such individuals with a view of imposing the appropriate disciplinary measures on them (Crawford & Evans 2017).
The use of manual data storage, essentially pen and paper, should be discouraged since this crude method may result in the loss or delayed retrieval of information. It also causes problems in areas of safety, legitimacy, retrieval, storage, and sharing of information.
The establishment of an effective life cycle and risk management program is paramount to the realization of policing goals and objectives within the law enforcement department (Brimicombe 2016). However, a number of factors such as system reliability, cost efficiency, internal management procedures should be highly regarded in the implementation of technology. The flow of storage and retrieval of real-time criminal information helps the police to maintain law and order more easily. Many governmental agencies regard the implementation of technology as either a costly or an underfunded undertaking. However, the leaders of such organizations should, in most cases, communicate with public safety leaders since they always have information about their financial impacts.
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Awodele, O, Onuiri Ernest, E & Olaore Olufunmike, 2015, ‘A real-time crime records management system for national security agencies’, European Journal Of Computer Science And Information Technology, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 1-12.
According to Awodele et al. (2015), modern society is vulnerable to ever-increasing threats due to the existing complexity of both external and internal security factors. Based on this context, the authors reveal that most governments, corporate bodies, and individuals around the world are embracing technology-driven security measures to alleviate crime. Acts of law-breaking go against some laid down societal norms that should be protected by the police department.
The authors in this article acknowledge that law enforcement bodies have realized the importance of implementing technological means in the storage and retrieval of criminal information in the CRMS database. Risk management in the police department is a process that demands accuracy, vigilance, and accountability.
The authors assert that the implementation of the CRMS database resulted from various factors that included inadequate funding, exploitation, blackmailing, and insufficient skills and resources for statistical and information management. Proper risk aversion practices should start by identifying potential threats, their frequency, and the anticipated severity of the loss. Developing a passable information system as an asset for the police department will offer an opportunity to record and store information about both good citizens and criminals. The information technology framework serves as a data store where it can be retrieved in case of need.
The identification of risk should be followed by the execution of sensible exploring methods to deal with the exposure of the risks. A detailed examination of organizational policies and procedures together with training is necessary. The third step includes selecting an appropriate response to handle the exposed risk. It may include various policy changes to suit new situations and reduce liability. Lastly, the police executives should execute the risk aversion plan and continuously assess it to check its validity.
Awodele et al. (2015) affirm that CRMS technology is a holistic approach to risk management it has functional requirements that carry out specific tasks. For instance, officers can add users and screen them for assignation to varying levels of privileges. In addition, police executives can store and retrieve information about criminal cases. The IT system also performs search functions that depend on specific criteria. It can execute crime analysis, provide accurate statistics, and generate criminal reports based on the stored information.
However, Awodele et al. (2015) propose further research on this topic since there is a feeling that the practices of risk management are still not applied in some public agencies. There is a danger of increased risk at the police department due to overexposure to public assets; physical, human, and financial. Insurance costs are ever-increasing against a shortage of good covers. Many physical assets exposed to the police unit are usually damaged.
However, they are hardly repaired and they end up being replaced. The authors reveal that law enforcement agencies are at a threat of losing financial assets owing to the reduction of budgets and unsuspected payouts arising from liability claims and legal action involving the police. The authors suggest that the identification of risk exposure to law enforcers should involve the analysis of historical loss of data and pending litigation cases. Patrol officers should also be checked for any misconduct in their line of duty.
Awodele, O, Onuiri Ernest, E & Olaore Olufunmike, A 2015, ‘A real-time crime records management system for national security agencies’, European Journal Of Computer Science And Information Technology, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 1-12.
Brimicombe, A 2016, ‘Analysing police-recorded data’, Legal Information Management, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 71-77.
Burke, R 2013, Project management: planning and control techniques, Wiley, New Jersey, USA.
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Crawford, A & Evans, K 2017, Crime prevention and community safety, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Hopkin, P 2017, Fundamentals of risk management: understanding, evaluating and implementing effective risk management, Kogan Page Publishers, London.
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Storey, J, Kropp, P, Hart, S, Belfrage, H & Strand, S 2014, ‘Assessment and management of risk for intimate partner violence by police officers using the brief spousal assault form for the evaluation of risk’, Criminal Justice and Behavior, vol. 41, no. 2, pp. 256-271.