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The Impact of Police Technology Adoption on Social Control, Police Accountability, and Police Legitimacy

Political Authority, Social Control and Public Policy

ISBN: 978-1-78756-049-9, eISBN: 978-1-78756-048-2

ISSN: 2053-7697

Publication date: 4 July 2019

Abstract

Police technology fundamentally shapes the police role, and the adoption of technology is even linked to the success of police reforms. Police adoption of emerging technological tools changes the way police interact with citizens. The change in police citizen interactions can then have serious implications for the social control that police have over citizens, the civil liberties citizens enjoy, police accountability, and the legitimacy that the police hold in contemporary American society.

While technology impacts these critical issues in policing, not all technology adopted by the police is likely to influence their relationship with the public. As such, this chapter closely examines the ways that several emerging technologies adopted by the police (i.e., body-worn cameras (BWC), aerial surveillance, visual surveillance, social media, mapping and crime prediction, and less lethal force technology) impact issues related to social control, accountability, and legitimacy. The current literature seems to indicate that some innovations such as BWCs enhance police accountability and legitimacy, and also expand social control. Other technologies such as aerial surveillance and conducted energy devices increase social control, and display a complicated or unclear influence over police legitimacy.

Keywords

Citation

Rossler, M.T. (2019), "The Impact of Police Technology Adoption on Social Control, Police Accountability, and Police Legitimacy", Rabe-Hemp, C.E. and Lind, N.S. (Ed.) Political Authority, Social Control and Public Policy (Public Policy and Governance, Vol. 31), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 209-224. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2053-769720190000031014

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, by Michael T. Rossler