The police are using software that makes it much easier for police to check out the contents of a computer, a new study finds.
The study, published Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, examined the use of computer systems for electronic records and other digital evidence.
“These systems are designed to be more secure than paper records and make them more usable for investigators,” said David Dolan, an associate professor of engineering and computer science at Carnegie Mellon University.
“But when it comes to computer system access, the researchers found that some departments are just getting away with it.”
The study’s authors, Daniela Córdova-Pérez and Francisco Torres, also found that while many police departments are using them, they are also using them more frequently.
“The police are the ones using the most computer systems,” Cóndova-Perrez said.
The new study looked at how often departments use a computer system to check in with a suspect or to perform surveillance on a suspect’s whereabouts.
Officers in Los Angeles and Miami used more than 20 different computer systems in 2017, according to the study.
The data showed that most departments use two or three computer systems per officer.
In Miami, about one in 10 officers had more than 10 computer systems, according the study, which analyzed data from law enforcement agencies in Florida and the United Kingdom.
The study looked for instances where officers used more computer systems than their counterparts in Los Angelas and Miami.
Miami had a police computer system that was used nearly 100,000 times in 2017.
The police in Miami also had the most police computers per officer in 2017 compared to the rest of the country.
The other cities in the study had computer systems used only a few times a year.
Miami, which had just under 3,000 officers, had the second highest use of police computers, with more than 40,000 systems.
Los Angeles had the third highest, with 11,000.
The researchers analyzed data that was collected in the first five months of 2017.
They then analyzed the data over the next two years.
In Los Angeles, the study found that the use by officers was the highest in the city with the most data, at 41,800.
Los Alamos had the lowest, at 1,000 and Boulder had the highest, at more than 2,500.
Los Angeles had one of the highest use rates of police computer systems with a total of 2,973, and the second-highest, at 9,734.
Boulder had the fourth highest, which was the city’s second highest.
In Miami the use rate was the lowest at less than 20 percent, at just over 6,500, and Los Angeles was at about 5,600.
Los Alamos and Boulder, both located in New Mexico, were also among the most heavily-used cities in terms of computer use, with nearly two-thirds of the city having at least one computer system.
Miami had the eighth highest use rate, at about 13,000, and New York was the ninth most heavily used city with about 14,000 computers.
San Francisco, where most of the study’s data was collected, had just over 4,000 police computers and New Mexico was in the 10th spot, with about 3,800 computers.
The authors of the report said the findings are an indication of the ease with which the technology is used by the police.
“We’re seeing a trend in police use of the technology,” Dolan said.
“The police, for the most part, are using the technology to conduct surveillance, but they’re also using it to get a better picture of a suspect.”
Dolan said that as officers become more comfortable with using the computer system they’re using, it could lead to less scrutiny on officers.
“I think they’ll find that they’re more willing to ask questions about how things are handled,” he said.