Do police body cameras reduce complaints against the police?

Submitted by: Anonymous

Yes.
This short answer was generated by aggregating the answers that each of the 6 studies below gave to the question (as indicated by State of K members) and adjusting for source quality and other factors. If key studies are missing or the answers attributed to individual studies are incorrect, the above answer could be wrong. For medical questions, don't rely on the information here. Consult a medical professional.


Chart summary of 6 studies examining this question

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Literature Reviews
Although we recommend you consider all of the studies below, we believe the following study is a literature review, which surveys and evaluates many studies on this question:
Additional Recommended Studies Not in this List (yet)

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER
Do police body cameras reduce use of force by the police?
22 studies
Submitted by: TMifune 55

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SUMMARIES OF STUDIES
Total studies in list: 6
Sorted by publication year
1
AUTHORS
Jordan M. Hyatt
Federico del Castillo
Ricardo Fraiman
Maria Emilia Firpo
Barak Ariel
Renée J. Mitchell et al
PUBLISHED
2018 in Policing: An International Journal
UNRANKED SOURCE
Yes
Yes
2
Body-worn video: A systematic review of literature
"Law enforcement use of video-based technology has substantially increased over the past decade. This systematic review examines the current evidence base for efficacy of body-worn video and the current case for implementation. Five articles were identified as pertinent to this review from a search of five electronic databases, with a further six articles of grey literature included. Inter-rater reliability was high amongst three independent screeners of literature. Articles were short listed for review if they explicitly identified police and record-ing devices as topic areas. Articles were then excluded if they did not involve an operational trial of body-worn video. Eleven articles were included for review; of the five peer-reviewed studies, two were randomised controlled trials. An abundance of evidence was provided; however, the majority of articles were methodologically weak. Body-worn video was shown to reduce use of force incidents, crime rates for certain crime types and court costs. Public response to body-worn video was varied, as was police officer and public opinion. Due to methodological limitations evident in most studies and the general lack of peer-reviewed material, further research is required; however, there are some considerable benefits reported in the current literature"
AUTHORS
Robert Corry
Gemma L Myers
Rebecca Lesic
Timothy IC Cubitt
PUBLISHED
2017 in Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology
High quality source
Literature Review
Couldn't Identify
Couldn't Identify
3
AUTHORS
Jayne Sykes
Paul Drover
Josh Young
Darren Henstock
Alex Sutherland
Barak Ariel et al
PUBLISHED
2017 in Criminal Justice and Behavior
High quality source
Yes
Yes
4
AUTHORS
William Finn
Catherine Owens
PUBLISHED
2017 in Policing: A Journal Of Policy And Practice
UNRANKED SOURCE
Yes
Yes
5
Evaluating the impact of police officer body-worn cameras (BWCs) on response-to-resistance and serious external complaints: Evidence from the Orlando police department (OPD) experience utilizing a randomized controlled experiment
"Purpose: To evaluate the effect of police body-worn cameras (BWCs) on officers' response-to-resistance (R2R) incidents and serious external complaints.Methods: A randomized experiment was used where 46 officers were randomly assigned to wear BWCs and 43 officers were randomly assigned to not wear BWCs. Pre- and post-BWC implementation outcome data was compared both between and within groups.Results: The results suggest that BWCs are an effective tool to reduce R2R incidents and serious external complaints. Specifically, the prevalence of R2R incidents and the prevalence and frequency of serious external complaints were significantly less for officers randomly assigned to wear BWCs. Pre-post comparisons within groups demonstrated that the reduction in the prevalence of R2R incidents (53.4% reduction) and external complaints (65.4% reduction) were statistically significant for the officers who wore the BWCs, and significant reductions in the frequency of these outcomes were detected as well. Overwhelming agreement was also found among officers who wore the BWCs for the utility of BWCs to improve evidence collection and report writing and improve their behavior and police work in general by having the opportunity to review their own BWC videos.Conclusions: Police departments would be prudent to consider adopting these devices in their agencies."
AUTHORS
Lorie A. Fridell
Mathew D. Lynch
Wesley G. Jennings
PUBLISHED
2015 in Journal of Criminal Justice
High quality source
Yes
Yes
6
The Effect of Police Body-Worn Cameras on Use of Force and Citizens’ Complaints Against the Police: A Randomized Controlled Trial
"Police use-of-force continues to be a major source of international concern, inviting interest from academics and practitioners alike. Whether justified or unnecessary/excessive, the exercise of power by the police can potentially tarnish their relationship with the community. Police misconduct can translate into complaints against the police, which carry large economic and social costs. The question we try to answer is: do body-worn-cameras reduce the prevalence of use-of-force and/or citizens’ complaints against the police?MethodsWe empirically tested the use of body-worn-cameras by measuring the effect of videotaping police–public encounters on incidents of police use-of-force and complaints, in randomized-controlled settings. Over 12 months, we randomly-assigned officers to “experimental-shifts” during which they were equipped with body-worn HD cameras that recorded all contacts with the public and to “control-shifts” without the cameras (n = 988). We nominally defined use-of-force, both unnecessary/excessive and reasonable, as a non-desirable response in police–public encounters. We estimate the causal effect of the use of body-worn-videos on the two outcome variables using both between-group differences using a Poisson regression model as well as before-after estimates using interrupted time-series analyses.ResultsWe found that the likelihood of force being used in control conditions were roughly twice those in experimental conditions. Similarly, a pre/post analysis of use-of-force and complaints data also support this result: the number of complaints filed against officers dropped from 0.7 complaints per 1,000 contacts to 0.07 per 1,000 contacts. We discuss the findings in terms of theory, research methods, policy and future avenues of research on body-worn-videos."
AUTHORS
Alex Sutherland
William A. Farrar
Barak Ariel
PUBLISHED
2015 in Journal of Quantitative Criminology
High quality source
Yes
Yes







ADDITIONAL STUDIES TO CONSIDER ADDING TO LIST
Total additional studies: 20
State of K's algorithms generated the list of studies below based on the studies that were added to the above list. Some of these studies may also examine: "Do police body cameras reduce complaints against the police?" If a study examines this question, add it to the list by pressing the button.

Only add studies that examine the same question. Do not add studies that are merely on the same topic.

The Effect of Police Body-worn Cameras on Use of Force and Citizens’ Complaints Against the Police: A Randomized Controlled Trial
"ObjectivePolice use-of-force continues to be a major source of international concern, inviting interest from academics and practitioners alike. Whether justified or unnecessary/excessive, the exercise of power by the police can potentially tarnish their relationship with the community. Police misconduct can translate into complaints against the police, which carry large economic and social costs. The question we try to answer is: do body-worn-cameras reduce the prevalence of use-of-force and/or citizens’ complaints against the police?MethodsWe empirically tested the use of body-worn-cameras by measuring the effect of videotaping police–public encounters on incidents of police use-of-force and complaints, in randomized-controlled settings. Over 12 months, we randomly-assigned officers to “experimental-shifts” during which they were equipped with body-worn HD cameras that recorded all contacts with the public and to “control-shifts” without the cameras (n = 988). We nominally defined use-of-force, both unnecessary/excessive and reasonable, as a non-desirable response in police–public encounters. We estimate the causal effect of the use of body-worn-videos on the two outcome variables using both between-group differences using a Poisson regression model as well as before-after estimates using interrupted time-series analyses.ResultsWe found that the likelihood of force being used in control conditions were roughly twice those in experimental conditions. Similarly, a pre/post analysis of use-of-force and complaints data also support this result: the number of complaints filed against officers dropped from 0.7 complaints per 1,000 contacts to 0.07 per 1,000 contacts. We discuss the findings in terms of theory, research methods, policy and future avenues of research on body-worn-videos."
AUTHORS
Alex Sutherland
William A. Farrar
Barak Ariel
PUBLISHED
in Journal of Quantitative Criminology

Add to List
Self-Awareness to Being Watched and Socially-Desirable Behavior: A Field Experiment on the Effect of Body-Worn Cameras on Police Use-of-Force
"This study was conducted to determine whether body cameras worn by police officers would reduce the incidences of police-use-of-force. Findings from the study include the following: shifts in which officers did not use body cameras experienced twice as many incidents of police-use-of-force compared to shifts where officers used body cameras; and the number of complaints against the police for excessive use of force dropped from 28 complaints in the 12 months prior to the study to 3 during the study period. Researchers were unable to compute a treatment effect due to the large overall reduction in the number of complaints.

The study was conducted with the assistance of the Rialto Police Department. All 54 frontline officers in the department participated in the study. The officers were randomly assigned to either the control group – no use of body cameras, or the experimental group – use of body cameras. The officers in the experimental group were instructed to wear the body cameras during their entire shift and to record all public-police encounters. The content of the videotapes were analyzed to determine the effect of the camera on the incidences of police-use-of-force.

The findings from the analysis suggest that the presence of the cameras resulted in an almost 50 percent reduction in the total number of incidents of use of force, and that when cameras were not used (the control group), citizen complaints were almost 10 times higher compared to the experimental group. Suggestions for future research are discussed. Tables, figure, and references"
PUBLISHED

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The Benefits of Body-Worn Cameras: New Findings from a Randomized Controlled Trial at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department
"Many community stakeholders and criminal justice leaders have suggested placing
body-worn cameras (BWCs) on police officers improves the civility of police-citizen
encounters and enhances citizen perceptions of police transparency and legitimacy. In
response, many police departments have adopted this technology to improve the
quality of policing in their communities. However, the existing evaluation evidence on
the intended and unintended consequences of outfitting police officers with BWCs is
still developing. This study reports the findings of a randomized controlled trial (RCT)
involving more than 400 police officers in the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police
Department (LVMPD). We find that BWC-wearing officers generated significantly fewer
complaints and use of force reports relative to control officers without cameras. BWCwearing officers also made more arrests and issued more citations than their nonBWC-wearing controls. In addition, our cost-benefit analysis revealed that savings from
reduced complaints against officers, and the reduced time required to resolve such
complaints, resulted in substantial cost savings for the police department. Considering
that LVMPD had already introduced reforms regarding use of force through a
Collaborative Reform Initiative prior to implementing body worn cameras, these
findings suggest that body worn cameras can have compelling effects without
increasing costs."
AUTHORS
James R. Coldren
Omer Alper
William Sousa
Anthony Braga
Denise Rodriguez
PUBLISHED
2017 in National Criminal Justice Reference Service

Add to List
Post-experimental follow-ups—Fade-out versus persistence effects: The Rialto police body-worn camera experiment four years on
"Purpose Under certain conditions, experimental treatment effects result in behavioral modifications that persist beyond the study period, at times, even after the interventions are discontinued. On the other hand, there are interventions that generate brief, short-term effects that “fade out” once the manipulation is withdrawn or when the in-study follow-up period is completed. These scenarios are context specific. Methods This study reports the results from a three-year post-experimental follow-up from the world's first randomized controlled trial of police body-worn cameras. Results The results show that initial falls in rates of complaints against police and police use of force during arrest were sustained during the four years following the cameras being introduced. Conclusions The findings suggest that police officers do not become habituated to the effect of the body-worn cameras, and that persistence rather than fade-out effects may characterize this emerging technology."
AUTHORS
Randy De Anda
William Farrar
Barak Ariel
Alex Sutherland
PUBLISHED
in Journal of Criminal Justice

Add to List
Police Body Cameras in Large Police Departments
"Body Worn Cameras are spreading worldwide, under the assumption
that police performance, conduct, accountability, and legitimacy, in the
eyes of the public, are enhanced as a result of using these devices. In
addition, suspects’ demeanor during police–public engagements is
hypothesized to change as a result of the video-recording of the encounter.
For both parties—officers and suspects—the theoretical mechanism that
underpins these behavioral changes is deterrence theory, self-awareness
theory, or both. Yet evidence on the efficacy of Body Worn Cameras
remains largely anecdotal, with only one rigorous study, from a small force
in Rialto, California, validating the hypotheses. How Body Worn Cameras
affect police–public interactions in large police departments remains
unknown, as does their effect on other outcomes, such as arrests. With one
Denver police district serving as the treatment area and five other districts
within a large metropolitan area serving as comparisons, we offer mixed
findings as in the Rialto Experiment, not least in terms of effect magnitudes.

Adjusted odds-ratios suggest a significant 35% lower odds for
citizens’ complaints against the police use of force, but 14% greater odds
for a complaint against misconduct, when Body Worn Cameras are used.
No discernable effect was detected on the odds of use of force at the
aggregate, compared to control conditions (OR=0.928; p>0.1). Finally,
arrest rates dropped significantly, with the odds of an arrest when Body
Worn Cameras not present is 18% higher than the odds under treatment
conditions. The outcomes are contextualized within the framework of
reactive emergency calls for service rather than proactive policing. We
further discuss officers’ decisions and the degree of the necessity of arrest
in policing more broadly, because the burden of proof for tangible evidence
necessary for making a legal arrest can be challenged with the evidence
produced by Body Worn Cameras: officers become “cautious” about arresting suspects when Body Worn Cameras are present. Limitations
associated with the lack of randomly assigned comparison units are
discussed, as well, with practical recommendations for future research on
Body Worn Cameras."
AUTHOR
Barak Ariel
PUBLISHED
2016 in Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

Add to List
A Longitudinal Analysis of the Relationship between Administrative Policy, Technological Preferences, and Body-Worn Camera Activation among Police Officers
"Policymakers and communities are increasingly looking to body-worn cameras to increase accountability and fix the legitimacy crisis affecting American police. Empirical research on the effectiveness of body-worn cameras is therefore an important avenue of study. Although some research shows that body-worn cameras may influence officer behaviour, there is no research examining whether officers will use the device and how usage behaviour may depend on administrative policies. Thus, the relationship between officer preferences, policies regarding camera activation, and camera use remains unknown. The current study examines whether officers’ activation of body-worn cameras depends on two different policy conditions. Integrating research on administrative policy and officer behaviour with studies of technology use in organizations, we test key hypotheses using longitudinal data for 1,475 police-citizen encounters involving 50 officers over a 9-month period. Our study yields two key findings. First, body-worn camera activation is more prevalent under a mandatory use policy relative to a discretionary use policy. Second, although camera activation declined under the discretionary use policy, this was much less likely among officers who volunteered to wear cameras. The lowest levels of activation occurred among officers who were compulsory-assigned to wear cameras. We discuss the dual role of officer preferences and administrative policy on compliance with technological innovations within police organizations."
AUTHORS
Justin T. Ready
Jacob T.N. Young
PUBLISHED
2016 in Policing

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A Longitudinal Analysis of the Relationship between Administrative Policy, Technological Preferences, and Body-Worn Camera Activation among Police Officers
"Policymakers and communities are increasingly looking to body-worn cameras to increase accountability and fix the legitimacy crisis affecting American police. Empirical research on the effectiveness of body-worn cameras is therefore an important avenue of study. Although some research shows that body-worn cameras may influence officer behaviour, there is no research examining whether officers will use the device and how usage behaviour may depend on administrative policies. Thus, the relationship between officer preferences, policies regarding camera activation, and camera use remains unknown. The current study examines whether officers’ activation of body-worn cameras depends on two different policy conditions. Integrating research on administrative policy and officer behaviour with studies of technology use in organizations, we test key hypotheses using longitudinal data for 1,475 police-citizen encounters involving 50 officers over a 9-month period. Our study yields two key findings. First, body-worn camera activation is more prevalent under a mandatory use policy relative to a discretionary use policy. Second, although camera activation declined under the discretionary use policy, this was much less likely among officers who volunteered to wear cameras. The lowest levels of activation occurred among officers who were compulsory-assigned to wear cameras. We discuss the dual role of officer preferences and administrative policy on compliance with technological innovations within police organizations. "
AUTHORS
Justin T. Ready
Jacob T.N. Young
PUBLISHED
in Policing

Add to List
Beyond Surveillance: Data Control and Body Cameras
"The article discusses the cost that comes with the rapid adoption of body-worn cameras by the police such as whether the surveillance and privacy implications of policy body-worn cameras is worth any increase in accountability. It notes how collected data presents the danger of an endless surveillance loop and the unresolved questions of how any resulting data is stored, analyzed and shared. It cites the lack of clear policies on data sharing in police departments around the U.S."
AUTHOR
Elizabeth E. Joh
PUBLISHED
in Surveillance & Society

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Police Officers’ Perceptions of Body-worn Cameras in Buffalo and Rochester
"Police body-worn cameras have been advanced as a solution to disparate perceptions among the citizenry, public officials, community leaders, and the police themselves in the highly contested arena of police-citizen encounters. As with previous innovations in policing it is important that programs or policies developed for street-level application be planned in advance, and the opinions of police officers should be understood prior to implementation. This study provides survey responses from police officers in Buffalo and Rochester regarding their perceptions of body-worn cameras. Survey items were borrowed from prior research in Phoenix and Los Angeles. It also included items intended to measure the officer’s opinions about examining camera images prior to writing a report, an issue that is the subject of some disagreement among policy makers. Findings suggest similar attitudes toward body cameras not only among Buffalo and Rochester police officers, but also with police officers in other agencies. Almost all respondents agree or strongly agree that police officers should have the ability to review body camera images prior to writing a report. The policy implications of this finding are discussed."
AUTHORS
Scott W. Phillips
Joseph A. Gramagila
PUBLISHED
in American Journal of Criminal Justice

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Police Officers’ Perceptions of Body-Worn Cameras in Buffalo and Rochester
"Police body-worn cameras have been advanced as a solution to disparate perceptions among the citizenry, public officials, community leaders, and the police themselves in the highly contested arena of police-citizen encounters. As with previous innovations in policing it is important that programs or policies developed for street-level application be planned in advance, and the opinions of police officers should be understood prior to implementation. This study provides survey responses from police officers in Buffalo and Rochester regarding their perceptions of body-worn cameras. Survey items were borrowed from prior research in Phoenix and Los Angeles. It also included items intended to measure the officer’s opinions about examining camera images prior to writing a report, an issue that is the subject of some disagreement among policy makers. Findings suggest similar attitudes toward body cameras not only among Buffalo and Rochester police officers, but also with police officers in other agencies. Almost all respondents agree or strongly agree that police officers should have the ability to review body camera images prior to writing a report. The policy implications of this finding are discussed."
AUTHORS
Scott W. Phillips
Joseph A. Gramagila
PUBLISHED
2017 in American Journal of Criminal Justice

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A Critical Evaluation of the Pilot Program Regarding Body Worn Video Cameras by South Korean Police
"Despite the widespread adoption of body worn video cameras by law enforcement agencies globally, very few research has been carried out to evaluate the effects of the use of those cameras. The South Korean police ran a pilot program of using body worn video cameras in Seoul for five months and found that frontline police officers were reluctant to use the cameras. This paper aims to explore the reasons behind this unpopularity and evaluate the efficacy of the use of the cameras in the South Korean context. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine police officers who have used the body worn video cameras during the pilot program. The findings suggested key restricting factors: (1) BWV cameras relative to smartphones were cumbersome to use, (2) BWV recordings did not reduce the paperwork load, and (3) BWV recordings could be accessed by the Inspection Division. Findings reveal that relevant policies need to be examined in a comprehensive manner and that it is of importance to prioritize the problems and set out to solve those problems accordingly."
AUTHORS
Yong-Tae Chun
Jeyong Jung
PUBLISHED
2018 in The Journal of Social Sciences Research

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Big Budget Productions with Limited Release: Video Retention Issues with Body-Worn Cameras
"Since 2013, there has been growing support for police body-worn cameras in the wake of several high-profile and controversial encounters between citizens and law enforcement. The federal government has justified budgetary measures funding body-worn camera programs as a means to facilitate trust between law enforcement and the public through the objectivity of video footage—a sentiment supported by many lawmakers advocating for implementation of this technology. These policy goals, however, are stymied by a deficiency of police department policies and state statutes regulating the retention of footage and close adherence of states to the precedent of Arizona v. Youngblood, which holds that the destruction of potentially exculpatory evidence by the government not committed in " bad faith " does not violate due process. This Note analyzes the current landscape of body-worn camera video retention and argues for reform at the judicial and statutory level on how footage is preserved. It argues that courts should interpret Youngblood as allowing judges to impose the sanction of missing-evidence instructions—even in the absence of bad faith—as a remedy against the destruction of body-worn camera footage that occurs because of police policies and practices that limit protection of such footage. This Note also argues that states should move quickly to create statutes regulating the time periods in which body-worn camera footage must be retained while also balancing the logistical burden that high-volume video storage imposes on police departments. * J.D. Candidate, 2017, Fordham University School of Law; B.A., 2013, American University. Thank you to Professor Deborah Denno for your wisdom and infinite patience. Thank you to two generations of Fordham Law Review editors: Hopi, Brandon, Max, and Josh, who truly helped make this Note possible. Thank you to Mom and Dad for caring about me and the completion of this project more than I could ask for. And thank you to Kelsey for your love, support, seltzer, and constant sense of optimism about the Note; I could not have done it without you."
AUTHOR
Bradley X. Barbour
PUBLISHED
in SSRN Electronic Journal

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“Contagious Accountability”: A Global Multisite Randomized Controlled Trial on the Effect of Police Body-Worn Cameras on Citizens’ Complaints Against the Police
"The use of body-worn cameras (BWCs) by the police is rising. One proposed effect of BWCs is reducing complaints against police, which assumes that BWCs reduce officer noncompliance with procedures, improve suspects' demeanor, or both, leading to fewer complaints. We report results from a global, multisite randomized controlled trial on whether BWC use reduces citizens' complaints. Seven discrete tests (n=1847 officers), with police shifts as the unit of analysis (n=4264), were randomly assigned into treatment and control conditions. Using a prospective meta-analytic approach, we found a 93% before-after reduction in complaint incidence, but no significant differences between trial arms in the studies and little between-between site variation. We discuss these results in terms of an "observer effect" that influences both officers' and citizens' behavior and assess what we interpret as treatment diffusion between experimental and control conditions within the framework of "contagious accountability.""
AUTHORS
Jayne Sykes
Paul Drover
Josh Young
Darren Henstock
Alex Sutherland
Barak Ariel et al
PUBLISHED
in Criminal Justice and Behavior

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“contagious Accountability”a Global Multisite Randomized Controlled Trial on the Effect of Police Body-worn Cameras on Citizens’ Complaints Against the Police
AUTHORS
Darren Henstock
Alex Sutherland
Josh Young
Ryan Henderson
Barak Ariel
Paul Drover et al
PUBLISHED
in Criminal Justice and Behavior

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Body-Worn Cameras and Citizen Interactions with Police Officers: Estimating Plausible Effects Given Varying Compliance Levels
"Recent citizen deaths involving police use of force have increased discussion surrounding police accountability and community relations. One piece of this discussion is the use of body worn cameras (BWCs) by officers. Unfortunately, little rigorous research has been conducted to estimate the effectiveness of BWCs in reducing problematic police-citizen interactions. In this paper, we estimate two measures of effectiveness of BWCs by comparing incidents that occur in a squad assigned cameras to incidents that occur in a squad assigned control. First, we estimate the effect of being assigned a BWC (but not necessarily using the camera) on reducing complaints and resistance associated with incidents. Second, we employ data on BWC use to estimate the effect of cameras if they were used with full compliance. Together, these two estimates provide a plausible range of effectiveness that policymakers can expect from BWCs. We find that BWCs have no effect on the rate of arrest or resistance, but can substantially r..."
AUTHORS
David E. Choate
Charles M. Katz
E. C. Hedberg
PUBLISHED
in Justice Quarterly

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The Effect of Police Body-Worn Cameras on Use of Force and Citizens’ Complaints Against the Police: A Randomized Controlled Trial
"Police Body-Worn Cameras breaks down what’s known – and not known – about the promises, perils, and potential best practices around police body-worn cameras. Both law enforcement and civil rights advocates are excited by the potential of body-worn cameras to improve community policing and safety, but there is no empirical research to conclusively suggest that these will reduce the deaths of black male civilians in encounters with police. There are some documented milder benefits evident from small pilot studies, such as more polite interactions between police and civilians when both parties are aware they are being recorded, and decreased fraudulent complaints made against officers. Many uncertainties about best practices of body-worn camera adoption and use remain, including when the cameras should record, what should be stored and retained, who should have access to the footage, and what policies should determine the release of footage to the public. As pilot and permanent body-worn camera programs are implemented, it is important to ask questions about how they can be best used to achieve their touted goals. How will the implementation of these programs be assessed for their efficacy in achieving accountability goals? What are the best policies to have in place to support those goals?"
AUTHORS
Alex Sutherland
William A. Farrar
Barak Ariel
PUBLISHED
in Journal of Quantitative Criminology

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Police Body-Worn Cameras
"Police Body-Worn Cameras breaks down what’s known – and not known – about the promises, perils, and potential best practices around police body-worn cameras. Both law enforcement and civil rights advocates are excited by the potential of body-worn cameras to improve community policing and safety, but there is no empirical research to conclusively suggest that these will reduce the deaths of black male civilians in encounters with police. There are some documented milder benefits evident from small pilot studies, such as more polite interactions between police and civilians when both parties are aware they are being recorded, and decreased fraudulent complaints made against officers. Many uncertainties about best practices of body-worn camera adoption and use remain, including when the cameras should record, what should be stored and retained, who should have access to the footage, and what policies should determine the release of footage to the public. As pilot and permanent body-worn camera programs are implemented, it is important to ask questions about how they can be best used to achieve their touted goals. How will the implementation of these programs be assessed for their efficacy in achieving accountability goals? What are the best policies to have in place to support those goals?"
AUTHORS
<!>danah <!>boyd
Alex Rosenblat
Alexandra Claudia Mateescu
PUBLISHED
in SSRN Electronic Journal

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Behind the lens: police attitudes toward body-worn cameras and organizational justice
FUNDERS
University of South Florida
"Body-worn cameras are a promising new development in policing. They have been linked to positive outcomes such as decreases in use of force and complaints against officers. However, this new technology has produced a number of issues that could thwart a successful body-worn camera program implementation. One issue is the extent to which officers possess positive attitudes toward using body-worn cameras. If officers do not view body-worn cameras positively, they may not use cameras to their full potential. This study examined the relationship between organizational justice and attitudes toward body-worn cameras in 492 police officers across 3 agencies using structural equation modeling. Findings indicated no observable relationship between perceptions of organizational justice and attitudes toward body-worn cameras. The implications for the organizational adoption of innovations in policy are discussed."
AUTHORS
Joseph A. Schafer
Matthew J. Giblin
George W. Burruss
Nathan L. Lawshe
PUBLISHED
2019 in Journal of Crime and Justice

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Police Body Cameras in Large Police Departments.
"Body Worn Cameras are spreading worldwide, under the assumption that police performance, conduct, accountability, and legitimacy, in the eyes of the public, are enhanced as a result of using these devices. In addition, suspects' demeanor during police-public engagements is hypothesized to change as a result of the video-recording of the encounter. For both parties--officers and suspects--the theoretical mechanism that underpins these behavioral changes is deterrence theory, self-awareness theory, or both. Yet evidence on the efficacy of Body Worn Cameras remains largely anecdotal, with only one rigorous study, from a small force in Rialto, California, validating the hypotheses. How Body Worn Cameras affect police-public interactions in large police departments remains unknown, as does their effect on other outcomes, such as arrests. With one Denver police district serving as the treatment area and five other districts within a large metropolitan area serving as comparisons, we offer mixed findings as in the Rialto Experiment, not least in terms of effect magnitudes. Adjusted odds-ratios suggest a significant 35% lower odds for citizens' complaints against the police use of force, but 14% greater odds for a complaint against misconduct, when Body Worn Cameras are used. No discernable effect was detected on the odds of use of force at the aggregate, compared to control conditions (OR=0.928; p>0.1). Finally, arrest rates dropped significantly, with the odds of an arrest when Body Worn Cameras not present is 18% higher than the odds under treatment conditions. The outcomes are contextualized within the framework of reactive emergency calls for service rather than proactive policing. We further discuss officers' decisions and the degree of the necessity of arrest in policing more broadly, because the burden of proof for tangible evidence necessary for making a legal arrest can be challenged with the evidence produced by Body Worn Cameras: officers become "cautious" about arresting suspects when Body Worn Cameras are present. Limitations associated with the lack of randomly assigned comparison units are discussed, as well, with practical recommendations for future research on Body Worn Cameras. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]"
AUTHOR
BARAK ARIEL
PUBLISHED
in Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology

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Evaluating the Impact of Officer Worn Body Cameras in the Phoenix Police Department
NGO FUNDING
This organization does not disclose its donors
"The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), through the SMART Policing Initiative (SPI), awarded
the Phoenix Police Department $500,000 to purchase, deploy and evaluate police body worn
cameras. The design and implementation of the project included the purchase of 56 Body Worn
Camera (BWC) systems and deploying them in the Maryvale Precinct. The implementation of
the BWC’s occurred in one of the two Maryvale Precinct squad areas (aka target area). All
officers assigned to the target area were issued the equipment and were provided training in its
use, maintenance, and related departmental policy. This evaluation was conducted to examine
the effect of implementing police worn body cameras on complaints against the police and
domestic violence case processing and outcomes.
Our analysis of the camera meta-data indicated that only 13.2 to 42.2 percent of incidents were
recorded by and BWV camera. Domestic violence incidents were the most likely to be recorded
(47.5%), followed by violent offenses (38.7), back-up (37%), status offenses (32.9%), and
subject/vehicle stops (30.9%). Other offense types were recorded less often. While in general
the technology was found to be comfortable and easy to use, officers were dissatisfied with long
down load times, increased amount of time that it took to complete reports, and the possibility
that video recordings might be used against them by the department. We also found that video
submitted to the court was difficult to process because of logistical problems associated with
chain of custody and the length of time that it took the prosecutors to review video files. While
many of the problems were addressed by the precinct commander by assigning a police officer to
serve as a court liaison officer, prosecutors still maintained that they did not have enough time to
review video footage.
Regardless, the officer worn body cameras were found to be beneficial to the officers and the
court in a number of ways. First, officer productivity as measured through the number of arrests
increased significantly. For instance, the number of arrests increased by about 17% among the
target group compared to 9% in the comparison group. Second, complaints against the police
declined significantly. Complaints against officers who wore the cameras declined by 23%,
compared to a 10.6% increase among comparison officers and 45.1% increase among patrol
officers in other precincts. Third, our data showed that those officers who wore cameras and
received a complaint were significantly less likely to have the complaint sustained when
compared to the comparison group and other patrol officers throughout the PPD. This suggests
that even if a complaint was made against a camera wearing officer the video file was likely to
provide support to the officer. Fourth, and related, the officer self-report data suggested that a
significant number of complaints were not pursued because of video recordings. BWC did not
appear, however, to have an impact on s"
AUTHORS
Kevin “K.J.” Johnson
Mike Kurtenbach
Lidia Nuňo
Justin R. Ready
David E. Choate
Charles M. Katz
PUBLISHED
2014 by Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety (NGO)

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QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER
Do police body cameras reduce use of force by the police?
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