Technology and Strategic Planning in the Police - Criminal Justice - IresearchNet (2023)

Every criminal justice organizationYou need to occasionally examine your core values ​​and evaluate the process by which you deliver the advertised products and services. Strategic planning provides the tools and steps necessary to examine the effectiveness of an agency's product delivery systems. Both public and private agencies have an obligation to the population they serve, and without such planning, agencies risk not meeting the needs of their clients. Therefore, strategic planning is an integral part of modern agencies concerned with fiscal responsibility and adequate service delivery (Haines 2000).

The boost of professionalismand public responsibility led the police to adopt strategic planning measures and apply concepts borrowed from the business world. The advent of information technology (IT) offers new opportunities and challenges for police strategic planning. Modern technologies have become an indispensable part of today's police planning process, whether it's managing staffing or anticipating how best to tackle tomorrow's crime problems.

Basic Strategic Planning in Police

Strategic planning has many benefits for police leaders.It can help an agency identify and anticipate key trends and issues facing the organization, both now and in the future. The planning process also explores options, sets directions, and helps stakeholders make the right decisions. It facilitates communication between the key stakeholders involved in the process and keeps organizations focused on results as they battle daily crises. Planning can be used to develop performance standards to measure an agency's efforts. Finally, and most importantly, it helps leaders to facilitate and manage change (Glensor and Peak 2005). Table 1 illustrates some stages of strategic planning and the necessary actions.

The need for IT in strategyPlanning becomes even more precise when the organization has adopted and is practicing the Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving (COPPS) strategy. For example, in COPPS, the organization needs to maximize communication and feedback from citizens. Some technology applications for these purposes can be quite simplistic, such as issuing cell phones to managers and publishing managers' phone numbers. Or, at a higher level, the agency could consider developing a website. A website can solicit community input on such information that can be very helpful in strategically planning the future of the agency. In addition, areas such as the agency's history, mission, vision, values, and philosophy/methods under COPPS can be presented and explained on this website.

tabla 1Stages of strategic planning and necessary actions

Strategic Planning StageProposed Action/Questions
Identify stakeholdersInvite city officials, law enforcement, non-sworn officials, employees of other city agencies, and members of the public to their contributions and ask them to be a part of the planning process.
Assess the current situationHow are things working out? Are people satisfied with the agency? Are the workers happy? Is the production satisfactory?
Define organizational needsWhat are the agency's short- and long-term goals? Are there future goals that need to be anticipated?
Review proceduresHow are things currently done? Are existing systems efficient? Are there alternative methods?
develop a planIncorporate the needs analysis, available resources, and stakeholder input into a logical and actionable plan of action to help accomplish the agency's mission.
implement the planImplement measures and ensure that they are carried out according to the proposed plan.
Evaluate the resultsWere the desired results achieved due to the new plan? Have the goals and objectives been achieved? Is the agency prepared to face the challenges of the future?
  • Criminal acts or neighborhood problems
  • Perspectives from the general department as well as individual officer contacts
  • Programs or activities that citizens would like to see implemented

Therefore, IT can help the organization to achieve its goals and objectives. However, the CEO must ensure that all staff are aware of these technologies and are aware of their use. So, to merge strategic planning and IT, top law enforcement officials need to do the following:

  • recognize thatThe agency must first prepare a strategic plan that articulates the organization's overall mission, goals, and objectives.
  • recognize thethe mission-critical role of technology in surveillance and develop a vision for IT and its role in the agency, keeping in mind that the strategic vision for IT directly supports the agency's mission, goals, and objectives.
  • create a systemprocess of planning, maintenance and continuous support of information systems. Using IT for strategic planning is not a one-time effort and requires a cyclical process of planning, acquiring, implementing and managing IT.
  • develop a strategyIT vision document. This document will articulate how the technology will help the agency accomplish its primary mission and will establish an ongoing process for evaluating, updating, and improving these technologies as the goals of the agency and the technology change.

Strategic Planning and Police Technology

The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS),Created by the 1994 Crime Control Act, it was largely responsible for improving police departments in terms of IT. “Under the MAKING OFFICER REIPLOYMENT EFFECTIVE (MORE) program, OCOPS provided more than $1.3 billion to approximately 4,500 police departments for the acquisition and implementation of IT systems” (Dunworth 2005, 7). This rise of IT has helped law enforcement organizations achieve their goals by integrating technological advances into the strategic planning process.

As noted above,It is extremely important that law enforcement organizations participate in strategic planning. Just as important, however, is the need for senior executives to understand how IT can assist in strategic planning, as well as the types of technologies available for this effort. Technological improvements can now provide crucial information for strategic planning. For example, Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) now has the ability to provide real-time statistical information, screen maps, prepare alarm and warning lists, and issue and store multiple permits; Records Management Systems (RMS) now analyze crime statistics and maintain files related to people, vehicles, prisoners, and police activities. Other technologies have been developed more recently and can provide a much better picture of the situation under review and related long-term planning efforts.

Strategic Planning and Crime Reduction Applications

Strategic planning that involves preventative efforts or addresses specific, recurring problems can also benefit from the use of IT. Some examples are the following:

  • crime prevention.COPPS and TI can assist in strategic crime prevention planning through its crime analysis function, looking for ways to deny criminals the opportunity to act in the first place. Using the SARA process, analysts can search for criminal problems, analyze the nature of criminal activity, respond by allocating the necessary police resources to deter criminals, and evaluate by conducting periodic assessments to determine effectiveness (Helms 2002).
  • Mapping of criminal acts.Computerized crime mapping combines geographic information from global positioning satellites with crime statistics collected by the department's CAD system and demographic data. The result is a picture that combines disparate data sets for a whole new perspective on crime. For example, a crime map can be overlaid with maps or layers of causal data: unemployment rates in high-crime areas, locations of abandoned houses, population density, reports of drug activity, or geographic features (such as alleys, canals, or places open). fields) which may be contributing factors (Rogers 1997; Pilant 1997).
  • accident investigation.Some law enforcement agencies have begun using a global positioning system to determine details such as vehicle location and damage, elevation, bank, turning radius, and critical speed. A transmitter takes a series of "shots" to obtain the exact location and measurements of crash details such as skid marks, impact area, and debris; this information is then downloaded into the system and the coordinates are plotted on an aerial shot of the intersection or highway. Using computer technology, details are superimposed on the aerial shot, thus recreating the accident scene to scale. Finally, digital photos of the accident are incorporated into the final product, resulting in a highly accurate description of the accident (Bath 2003).
  • gang intelligence systems.Police now use their laptops and cell phones to help solve gang-related crimes. Some states now have an intranet-linked software package that connects sites across the state. It's essentially a clearinghouse for information about individual gang members, the places they go or live, and the cars they drive. Within minutes, an officer in the field can connect to the network, enter information, and wait for matches (Dussault 1998).
  • Staffing and Deployment Applications.Police departments need to deploy staff efficiently. This can be achieved using different technological tools. For example, computerized personnel databases can identify officers with unusual sick time or those who rack up numerous public complaints. The largest application of IT in terms of strategic planning involves the assignment of patrols. Using geographic mapping software, officers are now able to calculate the crime problem at the round level and allocate resources as needed within very tight limits. This is very different from the traditional division of a city into four geographic quadrants or the static allocation of zones that often remain the same for many years, regardless of changes in crime problems.

See also: Administration of Police Agencies, Theories of; Attitudes Towards the Police: Measurement Issues; demographic change in policing; Community Surveillance: Effects and Impacts; Police Standards and Training Commissions; SARA, the Model.


  1. Bathroom, Alison. 2003. The investigation of the crash site is high-tech. Reno Gazette Journal, November 18, 4.
  2. Dunworth, T. 2005. Information Technology and the Criminal Justice System: A Historical Overview. In Information Technology and the Criminal Justice System, A. Pattavina, 3-28. Thousand Oaks, CA: Wise.
  3. Dussault, R. 1998. GangNet: A New Tool in the War Against Gangs. Government Technology (January): 34-35.
  4. Glensor, R.W., and K.J. Peak. 2005. IT Strategic Planning. IT Matters: A Reader for the Busy Police Chief Executive. Washington, DC: Police Executive Research Forum.
  5. Haines, Stephen G. 2000. The Systems Thinking Approach to Strategic Planning and Management. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press.
  6. Helms, D. 2002. Shutting the Barn Door: Post-9/11 Police Counterterrorism from the Analyst's Perspective. Crime Mapping News (Bulletin of the Police Foundation) 4: 1-5.
  7. Pilant, L. 1997. Computerized crime mapping. The Chief of Police (December): 58.
  8. Rogers, D. 1999. Putting crime analysis on the map. Law Enforcement Technology (November): 76-79.


How does strategic planning relate to criminal justice? ›

Strategic planning holds many benefits for police leaders. It can help an agency to identify and anticipate key trends and issues facing the organization, both currently and in the future. The planning process also explores options, sets directions, and helps stakeholders make appropriate decisions.

What role does technology play in the criminal justice system today? ›

Legal technology for the criminal justice system involves GPS systems, robots, and advanced cameras. High-performance computer systems and Internet technologies are also involved. All these technologies improve surveillance and investigation while making analysis procedures easier.

What are 3 technology items that are used in law enforcement today? ›

Police across the United States are increasingly relying on emerging technologies to make their jobs more efficient. In their daily work, they are using drones, license plate readers, body cameras and gunshot detection systems to reduce injury and bodily harm.

Why is strategic management important in criminal justice? ›

Strategic managers support middle managers in navigating change by educating personnel on best practice methods for guiding renewal efforts. These actions enhance the organization's creditability in the eyes of line staff while reducing anxiety caused by the change process.

What is strategic policing in criminal justice? ›

Strategic policing challenges the police to deal with sophisticated crimes and powerful offenders in addition to the street crimes such as robbery, rape, and burglary that are the main focus of professional crime fighting.

What is the importance of strategic and strategic planning? ›

Having a strategic plan in place can enable you to track progress toward goals. When each department and team understands your company's larger strategy, their progress can directly impact its success, creating a top-down approach to tracking key performance indicators (KPIs).

What are the benefits of technology in policing? ›

With facial recognition software, law enforcement agencies can better track suspects and criminals without physically intruding in public spaces. Technology like tracking devices and cameras also help the police identify and find criminals and suspects faster than searching on foot.

How technology has impacted criminal behavior? ›

Unfortunately, technology has also allowed for individuals to carry out the act of committing crimes right from their homes under anonymity. This is known as cybercrime and can be defined as any online criminal act while using a computer or other electronic devices to cause harm to others.

What is the role of technology in criminology? ›

Technology has made it possible for people from all walks of life to have access to different resources. Further, technology is also being used to equip people who need a certain type of assistance to improve their quality of life and help them avail opportunities that would otherwise be inaccessible.

What are the 5 biggest tech trends in policing and law enforcement? ›

Artificial intelligence (AI), automation, big data, extended reality, and all the most important trends we identify across other sectors are equally making their mark in policing.

How will technology influence police practices? ›

Technology is transforming police work in the 21st century — introducing new tools to fight crime and new categories of crime to fight. For example, while more and more police departments across the country are deploying drones as eyes in the sky, the FBI reports they are also being used for criminal activities.

What are some forms of technology that law enforcement use? ›

We've rounded up eight top-of-the-line technologies that police officers are using every day.
  • Robotic cameras. ...
  • Handheld lasers. ...
  • Automatic license plate recognition. ...
  • Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) ...
  • Tablets. ...
  • GPS vehicle-pursuit dart. ...
  • Thermal imaging. ...
  • Gunshot detection systems.
Jan 11, 2018

Why is strategic planning important to police operations? ›

This can help to prevent corruption and abuse of power, and it can also help to foster greater confidence in the police among the general public. A strategic plan focused on the six pillars of 21st-century policing can also help improve the safety and well-being of both officers and the community.

What are the seven basic tasks of strategic police management? ›

Police managers should measure and monitor seven dimensions: reduce crime and victimization, call offenders to account, reduce fear and enhance personal security, ensure civility in public spaces, quality services/customer satisfaction, use force and authority fairly, efficiently, and effectively, and use financial ...

What are examples of strategic planning? ›

Strategic Plan Example
  • Provide excellent service to current customers for a competitive cost. Strategy: Provide yearly customer service training for all employees. ...
  • Increase shareholder value by 25% within the next 3 years. Strategy: Increase customer base by 10% each year. ...
  • Increase marketing to reach more customers.
Mar 30, 2022

What are 4 different types of policing strategies? ›

Policing strategies include hot spots, broken windows, stop question and frisk (SQF), and procedural justice. The broken window policy assumes that reducing low-level neighborhood crime and disorder can prevent a series of serious crimes.

What are the five core operational strategies that police departments use today? ›

For example:
  • "preventative patrol"
  • "routine incident response"
  • "emergency response"
  • "criminal investigation"
  • "problem-solving"
Aug 13, 2021

What are the 3 main strategies in police community relations? ›

Community policing, transparency, and data are three keys to improving relations with your community.

What are the three purposes of strategic planning? ›

Its primary purpose is to connect three key areas: your mission - defining your business' purpose. your vision - describing what you want to achieve. your plan - outlining how you want to achieve your ultimate goals.

What are 6 benefits of strategic planning? ›

Six Benefits Plateaued Entrepreneurs Can Realize From Strategic Planning
  • It helps you focus.
  • It allows you to establish (and stick to) priorities.
  • It allows you to divide and conquer.
  • It helps you create building blocks for the future.
  • It allows you to measure what matters.
  • It fosters accountability.
Sep 12, 2019

What is the main purpose of strategic planning? ›

The purpose of strategic planning is to set overall goals for your business and to develop a plan to achieve them. It involves stepping back from your day-to-day operations and asking where your business is headed and what its priorities should be.

How do police use technology to fight against crime? ›

Facial recognition technology is also proving instrumental to fighting crime. Law enforcement has used facial recognition at large events, for example, to identify individuals who are wanted for crimes by comparing their faces to a database of hundreds of thousands of known offenders.

How does technology help crime prevention? ›

Mapping Technologies

Mapping technologies use real-time information to assess where crimes are happening, according to what kinds of crimes they are. They can identify hot spots and patterns of activity, which lets them focus investigations and improve crime prevention.

What is the biggest barrier in implementing new technology in law enforcement? ›

Data compliance. Data management and compliance continue to be the biggest technology challenges facing police leaders today.

What is the primary concern in using new technology for policing? ›

What are the primary concerns that arise in terms of police using new technologies? Police use of new technologies raises a wide range of unresolved issues in terms of legality. First, many information technology tools are so new that the courts have not had time to rule on their constitutionality.

Has technology reduce crime? ›

Technology changes have not only increased the ways but have also increased the effectiveness of apprehension crime offenders. Police have incorporated new technology that see to it that the crime offenders do not go away with their actions.

What are the effects of technology on behavior? ›

In a way, we are becoming addicted to it. Addiction to gaming among children is a fine example of this, reflecting very poorly in their school grades. Think about how the internet changed our social behavior. Now we interact more on phone calls, emails which have replaced the traditional way of meeting face to face.

How does organized crime use technology? ›

Both terrorist and transnational criminal organizations have used the full variety of information technology to achieve desired results, including the use of cell phones, satellite phones, computers, and virtual private networks. The latter are particularly valuable for undetected international operations.

How might AI impact the criminal justice system? ›

identify actions such as traffic accidents and violent crimes. AI can also benefit the law enforcement community from a scientific and evidence processing standpoint. This is particularly true in forensic DNA testing, which has had an unprecedented impact on the criminal justice system over the past several decades.

How does the court system use technology to promote transparency with the public? ›

The use of electronic documents, in conjunction with case management and imaging systems, will mean that case information will be available immediately, which can speed case processing. Court schedules may be published on cable TV and available to computer access from home and office by the Internet.

What does strategic planning relate to? ›

Strategic planning is a process in which an organization's leaders define their vision for the future and identify their organization's goals and objectives. The process includes establishing the sequence in which those goals should be realized so that the organization can reach its stated vision.

What is strategic planning in law? ›

The process to set legal department goals that align with enterprise objectives, prioritize initiatives, allocate resources and define metrics to assess progress.

What does the strategic planning process relate to? ›

What is the strategic planning process? In the simplest terms, the strategic planning process is the method that organizations use to develop plans to achieve overall, long-term goals.

What is strategic planning for correctional facilities? ›

Definition. Strategic Planning is the cornerstone of implementing and sustaining the Correctional Industries Best Practices Model. Strategic planning is an organization 's process of defining its direction, goals, and strategies , and making decisions on allocating resources pursuant to those strategies.

What are the 4 components of strategic planning? ›

The four most widely accepted key components of corporate strategy are visioning, objective setting, resource allocation, and prioritization.

What are the benefits of strategic planning? ›

The benefits of strategic planning
  • Align everyone around a shared purpose.
  • Proactively set objectives to help you get where you want to go.
  • Define long-term goals, and then set shorter-term goals to support them.
  • Assess your current situation and any opportunities—or threats.
Oct 6, 2022

What are the 3 key elements of strategic planning? ›

Effective strategic planning is a process that should be broken down into three separate, equally important components: strategic thinking, long-range planning, and operational planning.

What are the 7 elements of strategic planning? ›

How to Strategic Plan in 7 Steps
  • Step 1: Environmental Scan. ...
  • Step 2: Internal Analysis. ...
  • Step 3: Strategic Direction. ...
  • Step 4: Develop Goals and Objectives. ...
  • Step 5: Define Metrics, Set Timelines, and Track Progress. ...
  • Step 6: Write and Publish a Strategic Plan. ...
  • Step 7: Plan for Implementation and the Future.
Apr 26, 2022

Who are the main target of strategic planning? ›

The purpose of strategic planning

The purpose of strategic planning is to set overall goals for your business and to develop a plan to achieve them. It involves stepping back from your day-to-day operations and asking where your business is headed and what its priorities should be.

Which is the most important in the strategic planning process? ›

The first and perhaps most important step of the planning process is understanding that there's a need for a plan. In terms of management, this means that you need to be aware of the industry environment in which the business operates so that you can identify opportunities for development.

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