On Information Technology and the Safety of Police Officers

52 Pages Posted: 11 Mar 2016 Last revised: 16 Dec 2016

See all articles by Min-Seok Pang

Min-Seok Pang

Temple University - Department of Management Information Systems

Paul A. Pavlou

Temple University - Department of Management Information Systems; Temple University - Department of Strategic Management

Date Written: August 10, 2016

Abstract

Police officers perform their duty every day under a constant threat of violence, and each year, as many as 50 police officers in the United States (U.S.) lose their lives in the line of duty. This study proposes that Information Technology (IT) could help to prevent violence against police officers. Specifically, we examine the relationship between IT and the number of police officers killed or assaulted in the line of duty. Integrating the literature on IT-enabled organizational capabilities with the criminology literature, we theorize that IT helps to develop an intelligence-led policing capability, which in turn helps to reduce violence against police officers. Our empirical analysis of 3,921 U.S. police departments shows that crime analysis and computer-aided dispatch are significantly associated with a decrease in the deaths of police officers. Computer-aided dispatch and in-field report writing are also related to fewer assaults to officers. Besides contributing to the nascent literature on the business value of IT in the public sector and the broader literature on the societal impact of IT, we expand the scope of the IS literature by theorizing and empirically demonstrating the role of IT in the occupational safety of organizations that operate in highly unpredictable, risky, and life-threatening environments.

Keywords: Public safety, Police IT, Analytics, Real-time response, Officer occupational safety

Suggested Citation

Pang, Min-Seok and Pavlou, Paul A., On Information Technology and the Safety of Police Officers (August 10, 2016). Fox School of Business Research Paper No. 16-016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2746194 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2746194

Min-Seok Pang (Contact Author)

Temple University - Department of Management Information Systems ( email )

1810 N. 13th Street
Floor 2
Philadelphia, PA 19128
United States
215-204-3059 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/minspang

Paul A. Pavlou

Temple University - Department of Management Information Systems ( email )

1810 N. 13th Street
Floor 2
Philadelphia, PA 19128
United States

Temple University - Department of Strategic Management ( email )

Fox School of Business and Management
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States

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