Knowledge management systems in law enforcement

Executive summary

Xanadu Police Force (XPF) is a tradition law enforcement organization, based on command and control. XPF use different forms of information and knowledge management such as computer records, documented institution orders and personal experience of officers. Understanding command and control is no longer an option; it is a requirement (Berg et al, 2008, p 274). XPF need to understand command and control to make significant progress on defense and public security transformation. Figure 1 illustrates the typical command and control system in Police Force.

XPF needs to develop and implement new strategy which will change traditional hierarhical system of police force, improve officers performane and save time for daily tasks.

Q1 Develop and state the Information & Knowledge Management strategy.

Police knowledge traditionally has been passed in law enforcement circles by word of mouth. Police knowledge is difficult to capture since law enforcement personnel do not generally share personal knowledge in writing (Scott, 2000). Critical knowledge is stored in the mind of "rank-and file" officers (Goldstein, 1990). Law enforcement personnel must be proficient in the use of several systems and know how to access the required information. Transfer of knowledge also requires that police organizations change the way they represent data, making it easier for officers to access the knowledge they need to perform their duties. Consequently, integrated systems and common interfaces are required. In order to change XPF structure and develop knowledge sharing strategy police information technologies will be updated.

The key elements of the new strategy are:

  1. Help forces to meet common standards for police information management through a statutory Code of Practice and associated guidance
  2. Provide a single access point for searching information held across all of the forces' main local operational information systems and national police systems (Snowden, 2006)
  3. Build a solid basis for policy development and operational measures
  4. Build community partnership
  5. Increasing emphasis on transparency, accountability and productivity
  1. intensive community policing
  2. law enforcement with IT tools
  3. data base management
  4. knowledge centric training
1intensive community policing

the capacity of police agencies to protect the community is increasingly dependent on its information and intelligence assets and effectiveness establishing and maintaining trust is the central goal of the core competent of community policing (Oliver, 2001). Determining the underlying causes of crime depends, to a large extent on an in-depth knowledge of community. Therefore community participation in identifying and setting priorities will contribute to effective problem solving by the community and the police, community partnership means adopting a policing perspective that exceeds the standard law enforcement emphasis, this would help in creating trust between the police and the community (Drucker, 1995). This trust will enable the police to gain greater acess to valuable information from the community that would lead to prevention of crimes.

law enforcement with IT tools

XPF police officers capture any kind of knowledge Related to the new changes in computer technology is the transformation that has occurred in report writing and recordkeeping in police investigation. Every police activity or crime incident demands a report on same kind of form. (Gottschalk, petter, 2006)The majority of police patrol reports written in old days were handwritten. Today, police officers can write reports on small notebook computers located in the front seat of police vehicle unit; compact discs are handed in at the end of the shift copy needs. Cursor keys and spell-check functions in these report programmes useful timesaving features. The basic information entered into database is location of incident, data and time of incident, victims, senior investigating officers, and data enquiry department. (Earl, 2001). During the enquiry, which has been on the database available at XPF. XPF need to capture explicit knowledge stored in electronic reports and databases, and tacit knowledge which is held in the mind of the officers; capturing knowledge and distributing it to people who need it to facilitate creativity and innovation (Wasko & Faraj , 2005). This step can be labeled end-user-tools or people-to technology as information technology provides knowledge workers with tools that improve personal efficiency (Snowden, 2006).

Data base management

The loss of knowledge in XPF due to employees retiring or changing jobs is a major problem. Highly experienced officers may have many decades of knowledge, which the XPF relies on, but which can walk out the door overnight. Most approaches to capturing this knowledge rely on unstructured, anecdotal descriptions of specific events or cases, often placed in a binder on a forgotten shelf (Poston & Speier, 2005). XPF databases that contain this data should be integrated in a way where officers can access valuable information and properly process it. data warehouse(DW) integrate data from multiple heterogeneous information sources and transforms them into a multidimensional representation for decision support applications. XPF should use a technology-based database system designed to connect information held locally and nationally by police systems, as well as on the Police National (Computer Public technology, 2006).

knowledge centric training

Most organizations focus upon developing awareness knowledge," how to" knowledge is essential to effective implementation of innovation (Berg et al, 2008). there is a long tradition in the police culture. to resist efforts to monitor police behavior, if km is used to police employees then adoption will be unlikely(lim,,1999).for any law enforcement agency sharing of the right information is very important.XPF should focus on training its force so that they are able to share knowledge in an efficient manner. The inability to educate administrators and line officers on the value of knowledge leads to an insufficient effort toward the implementation of an effective KM initiative(Luen & Al-Hawamdeh, 2001)

Q2 Develop and state the Action Plan to support the IKM Strategy

Technology is an essential tool to criminal justice and law enforcement agencies (Goldstein, 1990). That is why the first stage to achieve new strategy XPH should use Information Management Prioritization Analysis Coordination and Tasking (IMPACT) together with community policing.

Stage 1

The goal of community policing strategy is to create an effective program that promotes open communication between local law enforcement and the community(Herzberg, 1968). Communication must be timely, comprehensive and direct. Having police and the community working as a cohesive team will achieve a safer environment for all. Implementing community policing requires law enforcement officers to recognize the value of knowledge as an intellectual asset, this requires the implementation of necessitates fundamental changes in the structure and management of XPF. As links between the police and the community are strengthened over time, the ensuing partnership will be better able to pinpoint and mitigate the underlying causes of crime. To develop community partnership, XPF must:

  • Identify problems and prioritize them incorporating community input
  • Develop positive relationships with the community
  • Involve the community in the quest for better crime control and prevention
  • Pool their resources with those of the community to address the most urgent concerns of community members.
  • Be pro- active in solving community related problems

Ongoing input, evaluation and feedback from both inside and outside the police organization are essential to making community policing work. Knowledge sharing systems, as presented by Becerra-Fernandez et al. (2004), include incident report databases, alert systems, best practice databases, lessons learned, and expertise- locater systems. XPF should issue laptops to every law enforcement officer with appropriate software, which are indicated in stage 2.

Stage 2

IMPACT is an IT-enabled business change program that will improve the ability of the Police Service to manage and share information, facilitating the prevention and detection of crime and making our communities safer.

Steps in achieving IMPACT program:

In order to provide assistance to forces in implementing the requirements of the Code of Practice and Guidance the Management of Police Information (MOPI) system will be used by XPF. MOPI is about making information relevant and accessible, and ensuring that all police operational information is recorded, reviewed (Becerra-Fernandez et al, 2004), shared and deleted on a consistent basis across the entire Police Service. MOPI recognizes just how crucial the information held locally is to effective policing nationally. It's obvious that the more quality information available to police officers, the better their ability to make informed decisions (Dean & Gottschalk, 2007). That means better ability to assess risk, potentially safeguarding not just victims and witnesses, but officers themselves, increased linkages between criminals and criminality, and the ability to build more robust cases (Friendship, Thornton, Erikson & Beech, 2001).

To identify which forces may hold information and how it can be used XPF should implement the IMPACT Nominal Index (INI). INI is an online database of nominal information held in the forces' main operational systems. For the first time, it allows an officer to quickly check whether any other force holds information on a person of interest (Drucker, 1995). The INI now holds over 58.5 million records. The INI allows the police to easily find the information they need, when they need it, helping them to make more informed decisions and ultimately improving their ability to protect the communities they serve (Trojanowicz, 1983). It is making a significant difference to child protection, helping officers to establish a fuller picture of the people they're dealing with, identify patterns of behavior and make links to investigations in other areas (Wasko & Faraj, 2005). Not only does the INI safeguard children and vulnerable adults, it can help to safeguard police officers themselves, giving them the tools to find the information they need to more effectively assess risk.

The culmination of the IMPACT Program is to manage the Service's information assets effectively and make them available wherever they are needed, regardless of force boundaries (Snowden, 2006). In order to do this, the Police National Database (PND) system will be used by XPF.PND is an extensive store of police intelligence and other operational information.

Currently, individual force databases are not integrated and don't always communicate with each other. Consequently, information collected by one force is not available to colleagues in others. As a result, when it comes to exploiting information assets, forces are hampered by artificial geographical and system boundaries, while criminals operate freely across borders, exploiting the lack of coherence (Scott, 2000). The PND is radically improving the ability of the Police Service to share information across force boundaries, improving police effectiveness nationally, regionally and locally (Police National Database, 2009). The PND will enable a police force to conduct a national POLE (Person, Objects, Locations, Events) search on the PND and then view the results according to the user's selected preference (Snowden, 2006). Being able to search and retrieve information in this way enables users to create links between records, ignoring force boundaries (Shri Manoj Lall, 2008).


The first step toward a knowledge-centric organization is to teach police knowledge workers the importance of collaboration and sharing of knowledge (Luen, 2001). To improve the overall police functioning, the effective training of subordinate officers assumes tremendous significance. The officers at the subordinate level need to be familiarized with the technology available and its use in prevention and detection of crime and the greatly felt need for specialization (Marincioni, 2007). Specialized training to officers must be imparted after considering their educational background, attitude, aptitude and interests.XPF can integrate and maximize e-learning within in-service training programs such as an online police training video. Training should include studies in various areas of Federal, Provincial and Municipal law, as well as behavioral sciences. The recruit learns the laws of arrest rule of evidence, Police procedures, Departmental rules and regulations, use of firearms, self-defense and community relations.

The following areas should be taken into consideration in training process:

  • Focus on developing skills and attitudes
  • Update the police about the changing technology and the new tools available to the police officers
  • Individual centric training
  • Managerial training

Some novel methods that would encourage more participation from the trainees are:

  • Brain storming
  • Panel discussion
  • Case methods
  • Critical Incident process
  • Group discussion
  • Field Trips
  • Role-play

Q3 Explain and justify IKM Strategy and IKM Action Plan

Creative uses and development of new information technology and systems have the potential to increase the capacity and effectiveness of law enforcement in fulfilling XPF's complex mission in the present days. Confident and effective exchange of data is the key to multi-agency working (Collier, 2006).

New strategy involves new changed handling of a considerable amount of personal data about each individual in the database and handling of personal data about a large number of individuals. It will pull together, on a national scale, information and intelligence regarding persons of interest to the police (Lahneman, 2004) . This increases the possibility that there will be significant amount of data with regard to certain individuals. Many organizations invest heavily in technology in an attempt to begin an effective KM strategy. Heavy technology investments can be a mistake because the knowledge culture desired from workers can take substantial time to evolve (Oliver, 2001). XPF should start a KM strategy with a learning organization in mind as a solid approach.

To improve the overall police functioning, the effective training of subordinate officers assumes tremendous significance. The officers at each level need to be familiarized with the technology available and its use in prevention and detection of crime and the greatly felt need for specialization (Marincioni, 2007).

The training should aim at helping an individual to inculcate the right attitude and values in serving the public (Snowden, 2006). XPF should provide training that binds the organization together through a shared understanding of its values, purposes, core businesses and processes. Continuous learning for each police officer will make officers more productive for the society and also ensure greater sense of personal satisfaction (Earl, 2001). Continuous learning for each police officer will make officers more productive for the society and also ensure greater sense of personal satisfaction (Dean & Gottschalk, 2007).training employees through innovative techniques such as online videos would help XPF to build searches, reduce domestic violence, suspect apprehension pursuits, and prescribe drug enforcement.

The IMPACT Program will bring about significant improvements in the efficiency and effectiveness of the XPF. Officers and staff will have access to the information they need, when they need it, from across the country (Dean & Gottschalk, 2007). By enabling and supporting changes to the ways of working both at the force level and nationally, the IMPACT Program will help forces to utilize shared information to deliver improved policing outcomes, particularly in the areas of public protection and level two policing (Lahneman, 2004). new KM system will help XPF to utilize shared information to deliver improved policing outcomes, particularly to manage and share operational information to prevent and detect crime (Criminal Justice Resource, 2010).

Technology needs to be integrated with working practices in order to reduce organizational reliance on informal methods of communication" (Collier, 2006). Crime analysis provides law enforcements with meaningful tools with which to combat crime. One of the best techniques. is designed to be a perpetual and continuous process and to assist law enforcement executives in making more informed decisions in their response to crime (Butler & Gray, 2006). This would help XPF in Prevention and detection of Technology related crimes such as cyber crimes.

The justification for, and a clear objective of, the creation of a PND is to make the public safer by improving the ability of the XPF to manage and share operational information to prevent and detect crime. Police national database (PND) would help XPF to enhance its research and evaluation with the additional information available to it.XPF would have the advantage of converting complete history for older offenders in back records.XPF would be able to build criminal historical information by using fingerprint verification, as information will be available in a more organized and prompt manner (Collier, 2006). PND which will bring together and link information that is currently held only on local systems. Will help in the necessary funding, provide links to information held on arrange of existing national systems and will secure the long term future of the existing Police National Computer (PNC). It is expected to deliver substantial benefits around increased efficiency where time is saved in obtaining information, or where police operations can be based on better information or information that is obtained more quickly and effectively such as the prevention and detection of crime (Home Office, 2008). These will be subject to a separate Privacy Impact Some of the high level strategic benefits identified aligned to policing functions are improved performance in the following areas:

  • safeguarding children and vulnerable adults;
  • countering terrorism;
  • proactive crime prevention and disruption, including serious and organized crime;
  • public, officer and staff safety; and
  • Detections (reactive criminal investigation process).

A knowledge-oriented policing model is the logical next-step in the evolution of police work (Wasko & Faraj , 2005)). Community-policing is successful when there is an effective way to exchange theory and ideas. Community-policing promotes the sharing of knowledge and promotes the decentralization of the organization (Shri Manoj Lal, 2008).

This notion correlates to the exchange of knowledge between the community to develop a response to a problem; having an openness to learn from citizens. this give every officers the opportunity to interact with the communities, understand how families live and how they feel about the policing. It is vital to see from which side both parties are coming from. The police making sure that they enforce the law that they are obligated to do so by the public, and the public making sure they follow the rules that are being enforced on to them by the police in order to keep them safe and just (Snowden, 2006). The continuous extension of the olive branch between both parties in order to maintain peace and trust has to be done on both ends. It is always a give or take relationship and no matter what the case might be each party will feel that they have given too much and received nothing at all for their efforts (Scott, 2000). The way to fix this is to continue to put forth great work from both ends.


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