Los Angeles Sheriff's Department
Policing for the 21st Century


Los Angeles Sheriff's Department
Policing for the 21st Century

The Sheriff’s Advisory Committee on Emergency Communications and Information Technology

EDITOR'S NOTE: LA Community Policing's own Dr. Arthur Jones is a member of this Committee.

by Dr. Arthur Jones

The Sheriff's Advisory Committee project was launched three years ago, and has since evolved into an internationally recognized “think tank”. It recently won praise from professors at major American universities as “a brilliant research and development team”, and “probably the best R & D team in U.S. policing today.”

Superlatives aside, we think that visitors to will be interested in learning more about this remarkable group. The project Committee is composed of experts in the fields of:

Computer systems;
Police communications;
Electrical engineering;
Behavioral psychology;
Stress Management;
Officer Training;
International policing;
Efficiency measurement; and
Public Administration.

Sheriff Leroy Baca

The Committee won grants from the National Association of Counties (Information Technology category), and the National Institute of Justice (Technology Innovations). Its work has resulted in a prototype system that integrates advanced computer software applications with global positioning systems (GPS) and police communications technology.

But cutting edge technology is just the beginning. While designing, installing and testing the electronics, the Committee is busy perfecting many other factors such as officer safety, survival skills in critical situations, and stress management, all as part of the overall package.

The results of the Committee’s work will benefit the Los Angeles County Sheriff and other law enforcement agencies throughout the U.S. and abroad, and will increase the efficiency and quality of services to their communities.

Examples of application of the Committee’s developments include reducing communication errors caused by stress factors; improving critical decision making skills; prevention of potential acts of terrorism; reduction of risk of post traumatic stress disorders caused by abnormally dangerous or stressful critical situations; and improved continuing officer education.

The Committee’s monthly meetings are attended by over 30 members plus guest speakers such as university engineering or psychology professors, industry experts in a wide variety of fields, police and researchers from other police forces and many more.

The reports presented by members or guests are then submitted for questions in a particularly lively form of peer review. The results are integrated into the overall matrix of practical applications and monitored to measure their strengths and weaknesses in action.

Committee research and development topics are also compared with similar efforts by police departments, universities, governments and international bodies in North America and Europe. The “best and brightest” practices identified by this comparative process are then studied more closely for their cost-benefit ratios and their replicability.

Another distinguishing feature of the Committee is its insistence upon adding in the Human Factor at every applicable turn. Police never operate their technology in a vacuum. Their actions are both responsive and preventive, and take place in an ever-changing legal and social environment. Hence, the Committee addresses critical decision making, responses to high risk incidents, and threats to survival of police officers and civilians alike.

LA Community Policing ( will feature the most exciting developments and research of the Committee at least once a month, providing information about the evolving projects and the people who are hard at work on them. We believe that visitors to and their communities can benefit from this series, especially if we treat it as an interactive exercise. Remember, your impressions and opinions are invited at all times. Your criticisms, comments and questions will all help the Committee in its work. Please join in with LACP and participate in this “virtual version” of a real policing R & D Committee as it progresses.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Arthur A. Jones, J.D., Dr.jur.
Committee Member


--- Arthur A. Jones and Robin Wiseman are international human rights lawyers with legal educations in the United States and Europe. They are consultants and authors on international policing, social policy and human rights, and regular contributors to the forum here at LA Community Policing.

For more of their work, please see the
Think Tank.

For additional information or a complete list of references, contact:

Dr. Arthur Jones