1. Why do public safety collaborations occur in some places and not others?
2. What makes public safety collaboration successful?
In order to answer these questions, we are pursuing both theoretical and empirical paths. Our theoretical contributions to date include the identification of the major forms of public safety networks, and contrasting theoretical explanations regarding design decisions for both collaboration infrastructure and governance, focusing on institutional and rational choice theories. We have also contributed to extant knowledge on the applicability and use of complex adaptive systems theory to study system implementation, and extended a common shared service framework to include the role of public policy in public sector shared service implementations.
On the empirical front, we have developed a state-by-state data set of public safety networks. We identified over 275 initiatives at the state and local levels and have collected detailed interview data on 80 of these. We have also gathered data on over 230 independent variables for each of the 50 states, which include political, demographic, public safety, police/justice, and computing issues. Finally, we have conducted six extensive case studies (CapWIN, NLETS, JNET, ARJIS, Winnebago County and Clermont County) to gather detailed information about a variety of PSNs.
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