A quick glance around any public space will confirm that younger generations have difficulty being separated from their screens. Various online reports show that Millennials check their smartphones up to 150 times per day. As members of this generation move up the ranks of police services, so do their personal mobile devices. Is your organization prepared to address this behavior?
Right now, the majority of police forces are managed by Baby Boomers. Although the logical successors would come from Generation X, it is predicted that by 2020 the majority of police officers will be Millennials, which will result in a technological shift in operations1. This is mainly due to the fact that Generation X is outnumbered by the younger Millennials2.
Astute police forces are preparing for this generational and technological shift by implementing a BYOD program that embraces the use of personal mobile devices. Millennials' career choices will be influenced by the planning of today's leaders. Progressive technology policies will be required to maintain the pace of operations as well as ensure that policing remains an attractive career choice for Millennials.
Although we are not predicting or advocating a future in which police officers spend most of their time staring at smartphone screens, we recognize that personal mobile devices are here to stay. Our mission at Red Tulip Systems is to provide officers with solutions that enable them to use these devices more effectively and securely while on the job. We believe that both current and future generations of officers will benefit from an effective BYOD program.
1Henchley J. P (2005). Ready or not here they come: The Millennial generation enters the workforce. The Police Chief, 72(9), 108-118
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