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Needs Assessment of Local Law Enforcement Agencies in Tennessee

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 1993
The Statistical Analysis Center of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) surveyed 363 sheriff and police departments in the State in 1992 to assess law enforcement needs; responses were received from 224 agencies, for a response rate of 62 percent.

The survey asked each agency to respond to several questions in four major categories: fingerprinting and criminal history information, data collection and telecommunications capabilities, statewide information exchange, and jurisdictional needs. Results demonstrated that one-third of the agencies did not fingerprint; 63 agencies said another agency performed the fingerprinting function. Agencies that fingerprinted for other agencies did not always accurately identify the arresting agency. Over half of the agencies fingerprinted for all arrests or felony and serious misdemeanor arrests. Almost 20 percent did not submit fingerprint cards to the TBI, and over two-thirds did not submit disposition data. Nearly 80 percent of the agencies had access to the Tennessee Information Enforcement System network, and almost 60 percent used computers in their operations. Misdemeanor arrests constituted the majority of all arrests. Violent crimes, such as assault and domestic violence, increased over the past 5 years. Arrests for driving under the influence were more frequent than arrests for any other offense. It was determined that the National Incident Based Reporting System should be implemented in Tennessee, that local law enforcement agencies need more personnel, that local law enforcement needs are not adequately addressed by all levels of government, that State support efforts should focus on funding, and that better communication and cooperation need to be developed between all levels of law enforcement. The needs assessment survey form is included. 12 tables and 11 figures

Date Published: March 1, 1993