Itis true that some problematic issues revolve around procurement andimplementation of technologies of Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) andMobile Data Terminals (MDT) as tools of criminal justice agencies(Loimo, 2016). This paper elaborates the most problematic issue inthe case of procurement and that of implementation of thetechnological tools separately. Important to note is that both toolsof operation are employed with the aim of enhancing efficiency aswell as controlling resource allocation by law enforcement agencies.
Asfar as procurement is concerned, a most problematic issue concernsthe existence of fixed timetables for the procedures. It is wellunderstood that technology changes rapidly and that improvements ofthe systems have to be done now and then. What this implies is thatlaw enforcement agencies tend to find themselves in a position ofutilizing allocated funds for acquiring of new systems on a periodicbasis (Loimo, 2016). During such times, there is a need for imploringspecialist suppliers to deliver the information systems within agiven timescale. With the aforementioned rapid changes in technology,most procurers find themselves insufficiently experienced with thenew advances in technology that they have to deliver to the agencies.A keen look at this situation shows that the procurers face asignificant issue of quality assurance.
Fromanother perspective, the procurers in the market bid for tenders tosupply the government agencies with tools of CAD and MDT. For thisreason, they contend based on the capability to deliver the systemsin the shortest time possible, over and above being affordable. It iswell understood that government budgets cater for costs of suchtechnological tools, so finances do not pose as the most importantfactor under question- even though it usually stands out as aproblematic issue as well (Loimo, 2016). A possible means ofaddressing this issue is to allow ample time for evaluation andtesting of the CAD and MDT system. This can well be achieved ifbudget allocations for acquisitions of the systems are independent ofnormal costs of expenditure by law enforcement agencies.
Onthe other hand, the implementation of the systems faces a similarissue of quality assurance. In most occasions, the newer systems havenot been sufficiently tested, making the users have needs of beingconsultative while on-the-job. Important to note is that policiesgoverning the use of CAD and MDT remain very prescriptive in nature.Nevertheless, there is a sense of a gap in that the operators areforced to trust the capabilities of the systems even though they havenot been thoroughly tested in the first place (due to tightprocurement timelines).
Anotherpoint worth mentioning is that CAD and MDT systems work byintegrating a number of different technological tools. The toolsinclude but are not limited to radio system technology, automaticvehicle location (AVL), Geographic Information Systems (GIS),communication interfaces and mapping software among other things(Shaheen, 2012). From this perspective, one observes a problematicissue of implementation in the sense that the different technologicaltools always advance or improve independently. As such, there is aneed for constant training of agency personnel to ensure they keep upwith the rapidly changing technology. Discrepancies in the adoptionof emergent technologies easily lead to system failure (Manning,2014). For instance, the system could dispatch more than enough humanresources to the point of interest. Such means that another point ofinterest could miss the much-needed human resources in case of aconsequential emergency. A possible solution to solving the problemof quality assurance in the implementation of CAD and MDT tools isthe establishment of an independent project management body ofassessing the viability of operation of the system, of course asidefrom the original law enforcement agencies. This organization willalso be in charge of managing change processes during times ofenhancement or acquisition of new technological tools of CAD and MDT,over and above training of law enforcement officers. Such action ofquality assurance methodology would ensure that the stakeholders inthe field are familiar with any emergent technological tools.
Loimo,R. (2016). Introductionto Criminal Justice Information Systems.CRC Press.
Manning,P. K. (2014). Information Technology and Police Work. In Encyclopediaof Criminology and Criminal Justice (pp.2501-2513). Springer New York.
Shaheen,S. A. (2012). Innovative Mobility Services and Technologies: APathway Toward Transit Flexibility, Convenience, and Choice. AgingAmerica and Transportation: Personal Choices and Public Policy,95.