Fifty years ago, the 1967 President's Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice urged the rapid adoption of information technology to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, and fairness of the criminal justice system, including policing. They predicted that we could make great progress on the challenge of crime if only we could deliver the right information to the right police officer at the right time. In this twenty-first century era of Big Data, all the technologies described in the 1967 Commission report are widely available and accessible to police departments. This review characterizes what Big Data means for policing, discusses the technologies making Big Data possible, describes how police departments are putting Big Data to use, and assesses how close we are coming to realizing the vision offered in 1967. Although police may be rich in data, we still need to improve the extraction of information and knowledge from that data and put them to use to decrease crime and improve clearance rates.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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