As the law enforcement community continues to explore new technologies -- from predictive analytics to social media -- to assist in crime prevention and public safety efforts, a new report revealed a need to improve the law enforcement community's knowledge of new technologies and practices for leveraging those technologies, reports Homeland Security Today.

The new study, High-Priority Information Technology Needs for Law Enforcement, conducted by the RAND Corporation Information and Geospatial Technologies Center, which is part of the National Institute of Justice's (NIJ) National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center system, said the center received "strong and repeated calls" to improve the dissemination of knowledge about technology in general.

The researchers identified three broad areas that need work: law enforcement community's knowledge of technology and practices, a need to improve the sharing and use of law enforcement-related information, and a need to conduct research and development (R&D) on a range of topics.

Moving forward, it will be imperative to actively disseminate the information contained in the study to ensure that law enforcement agencies have the information they need, as well the ability to disseminate it, on new technologies and best practices.

"The central takeaway is to treat the set of law enforcement needs (and in the future, criminal justice needs) as a living data set that evolves over time, rather than as a one-time document," the RAND report stated. "It will also be important to actively disseminate the needs information throughout the law enforcement community of practice and engage interested parties about it."

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