GIS-Enabled App Increases Officer Productivity

A smartphone application designed for use by law enforcement officers has been shown to increase productivity, according to a technical report released by NIJ this month.


The report, Randomized-Trial Evaluation of a Law Enforcement Application for Smartphones and Laptops that Uses GIS and Location-Based Services' to Pinpoint Persons-of-Interest, “summarizes a project that developed, implemented, and evaluated a GIS-enabled application that dynamically identifies the location of persons of interest, including gang members, sex offenders, and parolees. The application, P3i, is designed for use by law enforcement officers. P3i pushes the location data to officers’ smartphones, tablets, and mobile display terminals/laptops.”

From the abstract:

The study found that officers who used the P3i application on GPS-enabled devices were more productive than controls and more productive than they had been during the prior year. Follow-up analyses suggested a variety of individual difference factors were also correlated with increases in productivity.

In focus group discussions, the officers expressed great enthusiasm for the P3i application and their use of new mobile technologies. The study also found performance expectancy—a belief that the application would aid the participant in the performance of his or her duties—had the most significant effect on P3i usage. In addition, a cost-benefit analysis suggested that implementation of the device results in a savings of around $800 per officer.

This study supports the position that if technology is made available, and officers have a reasonable expectation that it will help them in their work, they will utilize the technology. The authors also found that if a technology does help officers in their efforts, it is likely that an increase in productivity can be measured and captured.

You can download the full PDF of the report here.

Source: OJP

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