CEC Theses and Dissertations

Title

A Systems Analysis of a Networked Information Technology System at a Local Police Department: The Melbourne Police Department Case Study

Date of Award

2002

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

Marlyn Kemper Littman

Committee Member

Sumitra Mukherjee

Committee Member

Junping Sun

Abstract

As the new millennium begins, networked information technology systems are progressively more essential to the success of an organization (Turban, McLean & Wetherbe, 2001). With the steady growth of computer power and ever-increasing access to communications networks, digital information is an increasingly important resource (Li, Wang, & Wiederhold, 2000). As the information technology has changed, so too has the implementation of that technology changed. The changing digital information era presents significant challenges to organizations because there is a growing interdependence between organizational management methods and procedures on one side and information technology and communications on the other (Laudon & Laudon, 2001). A change in anyone of the components often requires changes in other components (Laudon & Laudon, 2001).

The changes and challenges to organizations brought about by information technology apply to governmental entities such as local police departments. The widespread use of computers and the rapidly developing technology of communications have combined to dramatically increase the volume and complexity of digital information resources available for criminal investigations and criminal-related research (Freeh, 2000). Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, emphasis has been placed on using networked information resources as a means to identify people and determine associated criminal histories.

This single case study investigated the implementation of a networked information technology system operating in the real-world setting of a local police department. The objective of this study was to examine information technology successfully implemented as an investigative resource for law enforcers. This included reviewing criminal justice information resources that became available between 1999 and 2001, and reviewing the impact of the September 11, 2001 events on information technology implementation for criminal investigation and research. It also includes the examination of theories taken from recent literature from the period 1998 to 2002, regarding methods of successful system implementation.

The major contribution of the study is that it provides a broad comprehensive analysis of a mixed mode wireless and wireline networked information technology system implemented to support criminal investigations and criminal-related research. The study presents a timely model of technology implementation, following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and passage of the USA PATRIOT Act. Other police departments and criminal justice agencies can use the study model to implement similar networked information systems. Results of the study indicated that the implementation of the information technology was successful because the implementation followed accepted theories in recent literature, and has had a consistent positive impact on the Melbourne Police Department. Positive and significant productivity results were achieved via the implementation processes utilized by the police department. Lastly, the study provides recommendations to local police departments and criminal justice agencies on whether continued implementation of information technology developed under current theories is warranted.

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