This article presents research findings that suggest dedicated law enforcement wireless broadband capability is likely to result in modest reductions in call clearance times, which constitutes a majority of daily police effort and resources.
Scientific methods can promote a better understand of the relationship between police practices and technology. Through a research project conducted in Brookline, Massachusetts, scientists from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and NIJ's Communications Center for Excellence advanced justice by documenting the ways a dedicated broadband wireless system improved policing operations in Brookline. Many law enforcement agencies are proactively working to give their officers the capabilities that smartphone users have. The Brookline study is the first empirical exploration of how wireless broadband access can impact police operations, and the data indicates that wireless broadband communications can quantifiably improve law enforcement functions. The findings suggest that a dedicated wireless broadband capability, as is planned for the nationwide FirstNet network, is likely to result in a modest reduction of call clearance times an activity that constitutes a majority of daily police effort and thus resources.