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The article by Wesley examines the implementation of the Law Enforcement Technology Group (LETG) and its impact on employees. In this regard, this paper aims at explaining the benefits of LETG and several difficulties reported by employees.
Advantages of Law Enforcement Technology Group (LETG)
First, it seems necessary to reflect on the essence of the LETG system. It is electronic data that provides criminal justice organizations with access to the database and allows using case management tools. It goes without saying that the LETG system has a number of significant advantages, among which one might note the possibility to store information and transfer it, the convenience of use, and others.
In particular, the information entered in Beltrami County might be transferred to any other enforcement office that also has LETG technology. Moreover, the system might dispatch various types of information, including documents and records (Wesley, 2011). It is also should be noted that the system might record a conversation in real-time, and it requires just a few clicks. More precisely, one can note a complete change in the departments’ operation. Most processes turned out to be provided electronically. Usually, two officers monitor two phones and five computer screens at the same time. It ensures the correctness and liability of the department operation.
Furthermore, LETG integrates with Bull Berry Systems mapping technology. This allows emergency employees to identify and mark the road closures so that emergency vehicles can avoid them to reach a target object in a timely manner. Mapping technology helps to notice the last location of a suspect and react as soon as possible. Also, a dispatch officer can choose an appropriate emergency response team, be it fire or medical services, determining the team that is located near the emergency case (Wesley, 2011).
The map is easy to construct and adapt to a certain environment as it illustrates some tips, if necessary. Even for those departments that do not have LETG system, mapping technology is vital. For example, the officer can detect the emergency, then print the map, and send it to the corresponding department via fax. In addition, a topographical view allows determining the nature the territory planning and development. The identification of extended buildings with basements and underground structures, and other features of the terrain might be examined in detail (Barnes, Welty, & Miller, 2016). Speaking of the mountains, the key objects of the study are the mountain passes, gorges, and ravines with the surrounding heights and shapes and their impact on the organization of the emergency response.
Also, due to the fact that numbers pointed on railroad crossings are indicated on the map, the emergency dispatch officer just needs to report the DOT number so that the railroad dispatchers understand where the accident happened (Wesley, 2011). The access to the system provides the officers with the information concerning drivers’ licenses, stolen vehicles, and other persons who have criminal experience.
Finally, LETG system benefits jail staff. With the help of the implemented technology, they can photograph tattoos and scars along with other markings that might be useful to detect a criminal in future. The above information is transmitted to the Minnesota Repository of Arrest Photographs.
Thus, the paramount benefit of this system is an automation and simplification of processes that earlier took a lot of time and efforts from employees. Therefore, the core idea of LETG is to make law enforcement authorities’ work more comfortable and rapid. In its turn, it will allow raising the informational support of the enforcement processes, the quality of investigation, and crime prevention to a new level.
Difficulties Faced by Employees
In spite of the seemingly perfect peculiarities of the discussed system, it has several disadvantages as well. In particular, employees reported a number of difficulties including the lack of training, employee reduction, surplus workload, and others. In the framework of the organizational behavior that is identified as “as the systematic study and application of knowledge about how individuals and groups act within the organizations where they work”, it is essential to consider the above issues in detail (Anonymous, 2012, p. 7).
The first difficulty is associated with the fact of staff reduction. With the implementation of new technology, some tasks might be performed automatically. Therefore, there is no need for the employee who worked in a particular position for years. For example, previous to this system, it was impossible to imagine that the five screens would be controlled only by the two employees.
Another problem is an insufficient training of the staff. According to Leonard-Barton and Kraus (n.d.), “sometimes, the managers responsible for shepherding a technical innovation into routine use are much better equipped by education and experience to guide that innovation’s development than to manage its implementation” (p. 1). In this connection, there is a need for adequate and appropriate adaptation to the new system.
It is also crucial to point out that employees are to act as dispatchers and controllers while earlier they were expected to use and develop their analytical thinking. Despite obvious advantages of LETG system, it requires smooth and elaborated implementation (Future trends in policing, 2014). Also, some of the employees have to learn to use computers and other equipment in a short time that might be quite difficult, especially for the elder officers. In its turn, the latter might cause constant stress because of the increased level of responsibility.
A strong work connection is undoubtedly beneficial both for the employee and the employer. However, there is a tendency of unwillingness to disconnect from work that sometimes might be unconscious. Huhman (2015) considers that “reluctance to disconnect from work at the end of the day” cause a serious difficulty (para. 4). For example, it is so convenient to check e-mails through a smartphone that plenty of people cannot stop doing it even after the working day is completed.
It becomes evident then that employees need to learn how to disconnect from work right after the end of the latter (Huhman, 2015). Such workaholics need to learn some techniques to avoid excessive workload.
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Finally, the system can make errors and send the emergency response team on the wrong track. Meanwhile, a crucial failure might occur in any system, even if it was designed by Law Enforcement Technology Group. As a result, it might lead to misunderstanding and unpredictable consequences such as offender escape, for instance.
In conclusion, it should be emphasized that the main advantage of people compared to technology has always been the ability to solve problems intuitively, to improvise, and act outside the box. Therefore, the development of new technologies should allow employees to use their capabilities in new ways.
Anonymous. (2012). Introduction to Organizational Behavior. Web.
Barnes, M. L., Welty, C., & Miller, A. J. (2016). Global Topographic Slope Enforcement to Ensure Connectivity and Drainage in an Urban Terrain. Journal of Hydrologic Engineering, 21(4), 1-5.
Future trends in policing. (2014). Web.
Huhman, H. R. (2015). 4 Tech Solutions That Are Also Problems When Managing Employees. Web.
Leonard-Barton, D., & Kraus, W. A. (n.d.). Implementing New Technology. Harvard Business Review, 1-15.
Wesley, B. (2011). Loving LETG: computer software helping streamline departments’ work. McClatchy-Tribune Business News.