Information technology can save police lives, according to a new study

December 11, 2019

Police officers face well-documented risks, with more than 50,000 a year assaulted on the job in the United States.

But new research has found that the use of information technology by law enforcement agencies can significantly cut the number of police killed or injured in the line of duty, reducing violence as much as 50%.

"The use of IT by police increases the occupational safety of police officers in the field and reduces deaths and assaults against police officers," said Paul A. Pavlou, dean of the C.T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston and co-author of the paper, which was published in the journal Decision Support Systems.

Pavlou and Min-Seok Pang of Temple University used data from the FBI, the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics and the U.S. Census to build a dataset correlating IT use and reported violence against law enforcement from 4,325 U.S. police departments over a six-year period.

People haven't previously known much about the impact of IT on police safety, Pavlou said, both because relatively few departments used it until recently and because there hasn't been much research on the topic.

His and Pang's analysis determined extensive use of IT by the police could cut violence against law enforcement between 42% and 50%, amounting to between six and seven fewer assaults or deaths for an average-sized police department.

For large urban departments serving more than 1 million people, relying on information technology could mean up to 199 fewer assaults or deaths.

The dataset focused on the use of information technology in three areas:The use of IT to learn more about potential suspects improves the likelihood that police can make an arrest without violence, the researchers said. Discovering that a suspect is likely to be armed, for example, can lead police to don protective gear.

The dataset was collected in the early 2000s, when only about one-third of police departments had high use of IT in all three areas, Pavlou said. That's likely grown in recent years, he said.

The researchers said the finding is also applicable to other types of workplace safety, including those involving factory workers, chemical plant employees, truck drivers and other high-risk occupations.
-end-


University of Houston

Related Violence Articles from Brightsurf:

Combined intimate partner violence that includes sexual violence is common & more damaging
Women who experience sexual violence combined with other forms of intimate partner violence suffer greater damage to their health and are much more likely to attempt suicide, according to a study led by researchers at the University of Bristol's Centre for Academic Primary Care published in the International Journal of Epidemiology today [12 November 2020].

As farming developed, so did cooperation -- and violence
The growth of agriculture led to unprecedented cooperation in human societies, a team of researchers, has found, but it also led to a spike in violence, an insight that offers lessons for the present.

The front line of environmental violence
Environmental defenders on the front line of natural resource conflict are being killed at an alarming rate, according to a University of Queensland study.

What can trigger violence in postcolonial Africa?
Why do civil wars and coups d'├ętat occur more frequently in some sub-Saharan African countries than others.

Another victim of violence: Trust in those who mean no harm
Exposure to violence does not change the ability to learn who is likely to do harm, but it does damage the ability to place trust in 'good people,' psychologists at Yale and University of Oxford report April 26 in the journal Nature Communications

Victims of gun violence tell their stories: Everyday violence, 'feelings of hopelessness'
Invited to share their personal stories, victims of urban gun violence describe living with violence as a 'common everyday experience' and feeling abandoned by police and other societal institutions, reports a study in the November/December Journal of Trauma Nursing, official publication of the Society of Trauma Nurses.

Does more education stem political violence?
In a study released online today in Review of Educational Research, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Educational Research Association, three Norwegian researchers attempt to bring clarity to this question by undertaking the first systematic examination of quantitative research on this topic.

Teen dating violence is down, but boys still report more violence than girls
When it comes to teen dating violence, boys are more likely to report being the victim of violence -- being hit, slapped, or pushed--than girls.

Preventing murder by addressing domestic violence
Victims of domestic violence are at a high risk to be murdered -- or a victim of attempted murder -- according to a Cuyahoga County task force of criminal-justice professionals, victim advocates and researchers working to prevent domestic violence and homicides.

'Love displaces violence'
Art historian Eva-Bettina Krems on persistent motifs of peace in art from antiquity to the present day -- dove, rainbow or victory of love: artists draw on recurring motifs.

Read More: Violence News and Violence Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.