Open Access Thesis
Police discretion, Police -- Effect of technological innovations on
This research seeks to evaluate the influence of advanced information processing technologies on police discretion. I have developed three propositions. First, advanced information processing technologies used in municipal law enforcement enable policing managers to easily collect and analyze large amounts of information. Second, the information acquired from these same technologies is used to create and/or modify bureaucratic rules regarding police work. Third, this combination of technological and bureaucratic processes has led to a reduction of patrol officers' discretion. Advanced information processing technologies include crime mapping, video surveillance, mobile data terminals (in-car computers), global positioning systems, and computer statistics (Compstat), a data-collection system. Data for this study was collected through qualitative ethnographic methods. I interviewed a total of twelve patrol officers and police administrators employed in a medium-sized municipal police department. The interviews were semi-structured, and an interview guide was used during each interview. A narrative analysis was administered to exan1ine the data. By using this approach, I examined themes across the narrative accounts of the research participants. Cross-coding was used to see how each officer responded to each topic. I hypothesize that advanced information processing technologies have added new limits on the decision-making discretion of patrol officers.
Year of Submission
Master of Arts
Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology
Joe Gorton, Chair
1 PDF file (iv, 56 leaves ; 28 cm)
©2011 Kevin Wayne Howard
Howard, Kevin Wayne, "Advanced information processing technologies and police discretion" (2011). Dissertations and Theses @ UNI. 1372.