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