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The Adaptation of License-plate Readers for Investigative Purposes: Police Technology and Innovation Re-invention

NCJ Number
Date Published
James J. Wills, Christopher Koper, Cynthia Lum
This paper applies the theoretical framework of innovation reinvention to explain how license plate readers are being used by criminal investigators in more novel ways than recovering stolen vehicles.
This perspective provides insights into the practical benefits of an enhanced version of this technology. More significantly, it helps illuminate the innovation attributes and the organizational determinants that contribute to its adaptation. In the provided case study of an agency with extensive deployment of license plate readers, the authors found that factors contributing to their reinvention included their widespread availability and compatibility with other information systems, their lack of complexity, the characteristics of their users, and the role of leadership in promoting their use. These findings have implications for advancing knowledge about the complex nature of the innovation process. (Publisher abstract modified)
Date Created: July 22, 2018