Integrating Democratic Cybersecurity

Empowerment of Traditional Law Enforcement and Democratic Public Safety


  • Michael Losavio University of Louisville, Kentucky, USA
  • Jeffrey Sun University of Louisville, Kentucky, USA
  • Sharon Kerrick University of Louisville, Kentucky, USA
  • Adel Elmaghraby University of Louisville, Kentucky, USA
  • Cheryl Purdy University of Louisville, Kentucky, USA
  • Clay Johnson University of Louisville, Kentucky, USA



democratic, distributed, cybersecurity, law enforcement, public safety


The expansion of pervasive and ubiquitous computing, especially with the advancement of the Internet of Things and the Smart City concept, extend the novel means of criminality and its investigation. We argue that current forms of investigation and discovery are not sufficient to limit injuries onto persons and communities. Nonetheless, cybersecurity approaches within criminal justice, criminology, and workforce development – together – offer models that significantly benefit efforts to address public cybersecurity harms, yet they have been largely overlooked. This paper draws on an interdisciplinary lens to address cybersecurity, including criminal justice and workforce development integration and employing empowerment theory. Applying empowerment theory, this presentation demonstrates the effects from integrating cybersecurity and forensic practices into traditional law enforcement. The effects are positive as public safety will be needed to provide public safety and security in our hybrid technical world. Thus, this paper illustrates how we must, in essence, “democratize” cybersecurity through its distributed availability. We present means to achieve this and results from efforts to promote this integration through several coordinated, yet differently targeted programs at one research university.