A Quantitative Analysis of the Capacity of Campus Police to Investigate Cybercrime

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Through quantitative research, this study seeks to identify the specific method campus police employ to investigate cybercrime, then identify demographic characteristics (variables) of the agencies that permit or limit the agency's method of response. The correlation between demographic characteristics and the resulting response method represents the agency's capacity to investigate cybercrime. The tool utilized to capture data for this study is the “Survey of Campus Law Enforcement Agencies” designed by the U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ), Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). Almost 94% of institutions did not have a dedicated cybercrime unit. Only 6% of institutions did have a dedicated cybercrime unit, which suggests that campus police agencies may not have the resources to dedicate a full-time cybercrime unit or that management determined that the existing campus police officers were enough for the institutions’ cybersecurity needs. Approximately 55% of institutions stated that police personnel was designated to investigate cybercrimes as necessary, and another 15% of institutions had no policies addressing cybercrime. The literature review suggested that these conditions may result in educational institutions being unsuccessful in investigating cybercrimes and unprepared to deal with cybercrimes generally. If the campus police agencies considered in this study successfully investigated cybercrimes, then the disconnection between literature and the study results would suggest a need to reconsider academic understanding of cybercrime investigation. However, if the campus police were largely unprepared and unsuccessful in their investigations, the expectations of literature would largely be confirmed.

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