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Unformatted text preview: Police Practice and Research, Vol. 6, No. 5, December 2005, pp. 419434 ISSN 15614263 print/ISSN 1477271X online/05/05041916 2005 Taylor & Francis DOI: 10.1080/15614260500433004 The Diffusion of Computerized Crime Mapping in Policing: Linking Research and Practice David Weisburd & Cynthia Lum Taylor and Francis Ltd GPPR_A_143283.sgm 10.1080/1561426050 43 0 4 Police Practice and Research 1561-4263 (print)/147 -271X (online) Original Article 20 5 Taylor & Francis 650 0 0 December 20 5 DavidWeisburd firstname.lastname@example.org In this paper we examine the diffusion of computerized crime mapping drawing upon a more general approach to the diffusion of innovations pioneered by Everett Rogers in 1995. We use data from the Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) survey and the Crime Mapping Research Center at the National Institute of Justice to define the basic pattern of adoption of computerized crime mapping in larger American police agencies. As we illustrate in our paper, these surveys suggest that larger police agencies have adopted computerized crime mapping at a rapid pace. We supplement these data with a pilot study of adoption of computerized crime mapping that shows a continuing rapid adoption curve through 2001, and that illustrates that crime mapping innovation follows a period of crisis of confidence in standard American police practices. We also find that the widespread adoption of computerized crime mapping follows research evidence regarding the effectiveness of hot spots policing approaches, and is linked strongly to those approaches in police agencies with computerized crime mapping capabilities. Following the diffusion of innovation literature more generally, we show that there is a significant relationship between the likelihood of early adoption of computerized crime mapping and knowledge of research and interaction with the research community. Keywords: Crime Mapping; Diffusion of Innovation; Policing; Technology; Hot Spots; Crime Analysis Introduction In recent years, computerized crime mapping has become a central focus of practitio- ners and scholars concerned with crime analysis and the geographic distribution of Correspondence to: David Weisburd, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem and The University of Maryland, 2220 LeFrak Hall, College Park, MD 20742, USA. Email: email@example.com. Cynthia Lum, George Mason University, 10900 University Blvd. MS 4F4, Manassas, VA 20110, USA. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 420 D. Weisburd & C. Lum crime. 1 However, while it is clear that computerized crime mapping has emerged as an important focus of innovation in policing, there has been little scholarly review of the development of computerized crime mapping as an innovation and the factors that have influenced its adoption in American police agencies (for a notable exception regarding barriers to adoption of computerized crime mapping, see Travis & Hughes, 2002). In this paper we examine the diffusion of computerized crime mapping drawing2002)....
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