Refereed journal article or data article (A1)

Assessing law enforcement websites: a comparative analysis exploring types, quantity and quality of information available




List of Authors: Michael A. Hansen, John C. Navarro, Sierra A. Malvitz

Publication year: 2022

Journal: Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management

Volume number: 45

Issue number: 2

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1108/PIJPSM-09-2021-0128

URL: https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/PIJPSM-09-2021-0128/full/html


Abstract
Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore the availability of information on law enforcement websites in the state of Wisconsin.

Design/methodology/approach

The study conducted a content analysis of all 179 county and municipal local law enforcement agency websites within Wisconsin. The authors then implemented a comparative analysis that explored whether the quantity and quality of information available on law enforcement websites are similar to those of local governments and school districts. The authors then estimated models to test whether there is a relationship between the population size served and gender distribution of law enforcement departments to the availability of information on law enforcement websites.

Findings

Law enforcement websites contain a noticeable lack of information. The finding is even more apparent when comparing law enforcement websites to the websites of local governments and school districts. Finally, the authors show a positive link between information sharing on law enforcement websites and the proportion of the civilian staff at an agency that are women.

Originality/value

Past studies that reviewed the make-up of law enforcement websites analyzed large law enforcement departments rather than local law enforcement departments, which notably represent the majority of most law enforcement departments. The authors also explicitly demonstrate that the commitment to information sharing is lagging within law enforcement websites compared to local-level governments. Future scholarship and law enforcement departments may benefit from exploring the employment of female civilians.


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Last updated on 2022-23-05 at 09:42