Title

Predictors of Patrol Officer Interest in Cybercrime Training and Investigation in Selected United States Police Departments

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-13-2012

Publication Title

Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking

DOI

10.1089/cyber.2011.0625

Abstract

Cybercrime has created substantial challenges for law enforcement, particularly at the local level. Most scholars and police administrators believe that patrol officers need to become more effective first responders to cybercrime calls. The evidence illustrates, however, that many patrol officers are neither adequately prepared nor strongly interested in taking an active role in addressing cybercrime at the local level. This study, therefore, examined the factors that predicted patrol officer interest in cybercrime training and investigations in two southeastern U.S. cities. The study specifically examined the relationship between demographics, cybercrime exposure, computer training, computer proficiency, Internet and cybercrime perceptions, and views on policing cybercrime with officer interest in cybercrime investigation training and conducting cybercrime investigations in the future. Officer views on policing cybercrime, particularly whether they valued cybercrime investigations and believed that cybercrime would dramatically change policing, along with their computer skills, were the strongest predictors of interest in cybercrime efforts. Officers who had received previous computer training were less interested in additional training and conducting investigations. These findings support the argument that more command and departmental meetings focusing on the value of investigating these types of crime need to be held in order to increase officer interest.