Considerations To Make Before Purchasing New Technology
John Brophy of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Troy Krenning of the National Law Enforcement of Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC)-Rocky Mountain, and Colorado-based accident reconstructionist William Mael offer tips on things for agencies to consider before purchasing new technology.
First, agencies should avoid buying on impulse, but instead should specifically consider the needs of the agency and focus on technology that is geared to that need.
Second, agencies should consider all the options and set realistic technology and monetary goals, something that should include considering the consequent costs of purchasing the technology, such as training costs.
The third tip is to get the people who will be using the equipment involved early in the process, look for information from suppliers, and pilot test equipment before approving major expenditures.
According to Krenning, it is best to take hard looks at the agency’s budget and at how much use the devices will actually get, and should evaluate whether doing things the old-fashioned way will accomplish the same goals.
“In the NLECTC-Rocky Mountain ‘Crash Scene Technologies’ course, we try to give an overview of just what the cost/benefit analysis would be,” says Krenning. Mael says that departments should research on their own or through Crash Scene Technologies to determine what technology is the best fit for the structure of the agency and the application.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Law Enforcement Technology (10/04) Vol. 31, No. 10, P. 78 .