The chiefís role in promoting science & tech
One of the consequences of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, was to turn the spotlight of media attention onto the use of science and technology by public safety agencies. But as those in the police world know, the use of science and technology to support police operations is a trend that began several decades ago. Most agencies, even relatively small ones, now rely on a wide range of sophisticated systems and equipment to help them to fight crime and respond to calls for service, and those agencies that are too small to manage their own scientific support services usually have arrangements with neighboring departments to provide whatever help is necessary. Just how much of the dramatic fall in crime experienced by most large cities since the mid-1990ís is due to the application of science and technology to traditional police work is an open question, but there is no doubt that its role has been more than marginal.
Still, most police agency chiefs feel uncomfortable with science and technology. Very few have had any formal training in managing them or experience of using them operationally. Most chiefs, therefore, tend to delegate responsibility for science and technology to subordinates. ...