Editor’s Note: The following is excerpted from Policing 2025: Envisioning a New Framework for Investigations (©2020 IDC #US46946220), a recent white paper created by Alison Brooks at IDC and sponsored by Cellebrite. The paper may be downloaded in its entirety here.

The key question for police agencies today is how to turn a convergent thundercloud of operational and societal challenges into a reenvisioned policing architecture that is ethical, digital, and intelligent. While policing agencies may have unique challenges, they seek to capitalize on the same opportunities as businesses to deploy technology to reenvision operations. And like businesses, policing agencies must be able to demonstrate organizational effectiveness, efficiency, and technology ROI.

Ethical, Transparent, Privacy-Protecting Technology

Policing 2025 leverages acceptable use frameworks to proactively guide technology deployments, and policy frequently precedes technology procurement. It is important to underscore, however, that digital intelligence and digital intelligence platforms are not surveillance vehicles — they are intelligence aggregators.

Impact to Operations

In 2025, in the context of increasingly augmented AI- and ML-enhanced workflows, ethical digital investigation ensures that:

  • Agency leadership has established policy on responsible and ethical AI usage, initiated training for relevant departments or business functions, and fostered an organizational culture of responsible, data-driven decision making

  • IT’s governance processes are in place so that the data forensics practitioners are ingesting, analyzing, and sharing data that has been scrutinized for bias. The veracity of data lineage is verified prior to training AI models.

  • IT determines appropriate data sources and uses training data that is as comprehensive and unbiased as possible. IT tests for bias and monitors performance. Prototype analytic solutions align with operational needs, providing insights from the data and actionable information, and collaboratively predict and advise agency leadership.

  • Patrol and investigative personnel work with agency leadership to vet existing workflows and processes for bias. Transparency, auditability, and traceability are part of day-to-day operations.

  • Citizens understand how the application of technology is following acceptable use guidelines and have faith that these deployments are optimizing public safety without creating a surveillance society.

Go to our Policing 2025 page to continue watching the discussion with Mark Gambill and Alison Brooks on establishing a new digital policing framework with Digital Intelligence.

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