Body Camera Research

Topics: Police, Police brutality, Constable Pages: 5 (1701 words) Published: April 12, 2015
Body camera research A study conducted by Cambridge University in 2012 and 2013 examined the effect of body cameras when the full local police force in Rialto, Calif., began using them. In the first year of the technology's introduction, use of force by officers fell 60 percent, while citizen complaints against police plunged 88 percent. ( Cameras have the potential to be a win-win, helping protect the public against police misconduct, and at the same time helping protect police against false accusations of abuse. We’re against pervasive government surveillance, but when cameras primarily serve the function of allowing public monitoring of the government instead of the other way around, we generally regard that as a good thing.

doi:10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2014.09.008 Cops and cameras: Officer perceptions of the use of body-worn cameras in law enforcement (Wesley g Jennings, lorie a fridell, Mathew d lynch) Proponents of these devices claim that they can improve the behaviors of both officer and citizen, increase officer safety, reduce use of force and external complaints, and increase internal complaints (and thus officer accountability) From February 2012 to July 2013, a Cambridge University study examined the effects of “wearable” video cameras on patrol officers’ compliance rates in Rialto, California. In this particular study, police officers (N = 54) were randomly assigned to wear a body-worn camera (or not) based on the officer’s work shift. Over a 12-month study period, Rialto Police Department officers exhibited a 59% reduction in the use of force incidents and an 87.5% reduction in citizen complaints when compared to department estimates for all officers prior to implementation of body-worn cameras (Farrar & Ariel, 2013). Additionally, significant treatment effects (body-worn camera shifts vs. control shifts) were achieved for use of force outcomes in which there were nearly 50% less incidents for body-worn camera shifts (Farrar & Ariel, 2013). Building upon this research, the Mesa (Arizona) Police Department conducted a program evaluation of “on-officer” body-worn cameras from October 2012 to September 2013. In this study, 50 police officers equipped with body-worn cameras were compared to 50 demographically similar officers who did not wear body-worn cameras. The one-year pilot study yielded a 40% decrease in complaints and a 75% decrease in use of force incidents across study officers Starting in April 2013, the Phoenix (Arizona) Police Department (PPD) equipped 56 officers with body-worn cameras and compared them to 50 control officers for one year. The study examined the effects of body-worn cameras on police officer complaints, as well as their impact on citizen-officer interactions (Rosenbaum et al., 2005 and White, 2014). According to preliminary results, self-reported data indicated that most officers were comfortable wearing body-worn cameras, yet did not believe they should be adopted for all frontline personnel in the department (White, 2013, September 5, White, 2014 and Katz and Kurtenbach, 2014, August 8). Also, self-reported police officer productivity increased for officers wearing body-worn cameras, while self-reported complaints against officers decreased by 60% during the study period; official records also indicated a 44% decrease in complaints against officers (Katz and Kurtenbach, 2014, August 8, White, 2013, September 5 and White, 2014). Officers who have negative views of body-worn cameras may subvert efforts by their agencies to acquire them or undermine effective implementation in the agencies that do adopt them. Conversely, officers who are supportive of body-worn cameras can produce an effective implementation that may even enhance the value of the body-worn cameras. The International...
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