Mapping Information Requirements for Police Patrol and Response to Informational Displays

Russell Branaghan, John Takamura, Mark T. Palmer, Emily A. Hildebrand, Daniel C. Sevier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Police officers frequently use mobile display terminals (MDTs) in their cruisers to gather information about calls. Unfortunately, MDT design often fails to indicate which information is important for each call. This limitation increases cognitive load and violates the principle of proximity compatibility (Wickens & Carswell, 1995). To improve MDT design, it is important to present appropriate information at the appropriate time, enabling officers to make sense of situations. The present research compiled the 23 types of calls and 25 items of information that officers considered most important. Fifty-nine officers rated the importance of each piece of information by call type, yielding a prioritized list. Hierarchical cluster analysis and Pathfinder networks identified call clusters that rely on similar information, as well as information needed for the same types of call. Using these results, officers then helped design a mock-up that applies to a complex call. The results and mock-up provide guidance for designing MDTs, indicating which calls are most information intensive and what information should be presented simultaneously and in close proximity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-128
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Computer Science Applications


Dive into the research topics of 'Mapping Information Requirements for Police Patrol and Response to Informational Displays'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this