What are police officer perceptions of body worn cameras?

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SUMMARIES OF STUDIES
Total studies in list: 16
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1
Behind the lens: police attitudes toward body-worn cameras and organizational justice
"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
High quality source
FUNDERS
University of South Florida
2
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
UNRANKED SOURCE
3
Body-worn cameras and officer perceptions: a mixed-method pretest posttest of patrol officers and supervisors
"The adoption of police body-worn cameras (BWCs) is likely inevitable. This technology has significant implications for police–community relations, enhanced trust and transparency, and complaint investigation. Little is known about officer, or supervisor, attitudes toward BWCs. These dimensions are critical as officer investment and agency policy influence BWC usage and effectiveness. This research uses a mixed-method approach, pairing officer surveys with focus groups of patrol officers and focus groups of supervisors. University police officers participated in the survey using a census approach with near full participation. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected pre- and post-implementation to address attitudinal changes toward BWCs. Results indicate officer and supervisor support for BWCs. Many of the concerns that officers raised in the pretest, including fear of negative evaluations, internal investigations, and technology issues, were not realized. Connecting officer and supervisor perspectives provides guidance for agencies considering adoption and/or implementation of BWCs."
AUTHORS
Steven Keener
William V. Pelfrey Jr
PUBLISHED
2018 in Journal of Crime and Justice
High quality source
4
Body-Worn Cameras in the Post-Ferguson Era: An Exploration of Law Enforcement Perspectives
"In the aftermath of Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri, confidence in police has weakened. Body-worn cameras (BWCs) are perceived to increase law enforcement transparency and accountability, and, by proxy, restore law enforcement legitimacy. Though the empirical status of BWCs has grown in recent years, missing from these accounts are the actual words and narratives of officers. Through a qualitative approach, the data and analysis within this paper overcome this issue and indicate that BWCs have had an impact on police–citizen interactions in one Southern American State. More specifically, citizen and officer accountability from BWCs was found to have positive and negative consequence. Officers articulated this supposition in a number of ways and the paper contextualizes these perspectives within the extant literature. The policy implications and areas of future research from these findings are discussed as they inform a non-positivist approach to research."
AUTHORS
Vaughn J. Crichlow
Ross Deuchar
Seth Wyatt Fallik
PUBLISHED
2018 in Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology
High quality source
5
Examining Body-Worn Camera Integration and Acceptance Among Police Officers, Citizens, and External Stakeholders
"We explore integration and acceptance of body‐worn cameras (BWCs) among police, citizens, and stakeholders in one jurisdiction (Tempe, AZ) that adhered to the U.S. Department of Justice's (U.S. DOJ's) BWC Implementation Guide. We assess integration and acceptance through (a) officer surveys pre‐ and postdeployment, (b) interviews with citizens who had recent police encounters, and (c) interviews with external stakeholders. We also analyze (d) officer self‐initiated contacts, (e) misdemeanor court case time to disposition, and (f) case outcomes. We found high levels of BWC acceptance across all groups. Officer proactivity remained consistent. Time‐to‐case disposition and the rate of guilty outcomes both trended in positive directions."
AUTHORS
Janne E. Gaub
Natalie Todak
Michael D. White
PUBLISHED
2018 in Criminology & Public Policy
High quality source
FUNDERS
Laura and John Arnold Foundation
6
Understanding police officer resistance to body-worn cameras
"PurposeBody-worn cameras (BWCs) have been adopted in police agencies across the USA in efforts to increase police transparency and accountability. This widespread implementation has occurred despite some notable resistance to BWCs from police officers in some jurisdictions. This resistance poses a threat to the appropriate implementation of this technology and adherence to BWC policies. The purpose of this paper is to examine factors that could explain variation in officer receptivity to BWCs.Design/methodology/approachThe authors assess differences between officers who volunteered to wear a BWC and officers who resisted wearing a BWC as part of a larger randomized controlled trial of BWCs in the Phoenix Police Department. The authors specifically examine whether officer educational attainment, prior use of a BWC, attitudes toward BWCs, perceptions of organizational justice, support for procedural justice, noble cause beliefs, and official measures of officer activity predict receptivity to BWCs among 125 officers using binary logistic regression.FindingsThe findings indicate limited differences between BWC volunteers and resistors. Volunteers did have higher levels of educational attainment and were more likely to agree that BWCs improve citizen behaviors, relative to their resistant counterparts. Interestingly, there were no differences in perceptions of organizational justice, self-initiated activities, use of force, or citizen complaints between these groups.Originality/valueThough a growing body of research has examined the impact of BWCs on officer use of force and citizen complaints, less research has examined officer attitudes toward the adoption of this technology. Extant research in this area largely focusses on general perceptions of BWCs, as opposed to officer characteristics that could predict receptivity to BWCs. This paper addresses this limitation in the research"
AUTHORS
Vincent J. Webb
Charles M. Katz
Jessica Huff
PUBLISHED
2018 in Policing: An International Journal
UNRANKED SOURCE
7
The impact of law enforcement officer perceptions of organizational justice on their attitudes regarding body-worn cameras
"Civil unrest following recent questionable officer involved shootings and other use of force incidents has prompted public demands for police officers to be equipped with body-worn video cameras (BWCs). As a result of these demands, agencies across the US are rapidly acquiring the devices. While BWCs are widely assumed to be effective tools to document police/citizen encounters, increase law enforcement transparency, and improve both officer and citizen behavior, relatively little research has been conducted in regard to their actual impact. While some preliminary studies have examined officer attitudes concerning the devices, specific factors that potentially affect officer attitudes concerning BWCs and ultimately their level of ‘buy-in’ have not been examined. The concept of organizational justice is likely one such factor. Through the administration of a survey to a sample of 201 law enforcement officers from four Midwestern and Southern region agencies and those in attendance at regional continuing education venues, the relationship between organizational justice and officer attitudes regarding BWCs is examined. Analysis with structural equation modeling indicates that officer perceptions of organizational justice are a significant factor in terms of their attitudes regarding BWCs."
AUTHORS
David R. White
Michael J. Kyle
PUBLISHED
2017 in Journal of Crime and Justice
High quality source
8
‘I’m glad that was on camera’: a case study of police officers’ perceptions of cameras
"In the surveillance society, the police are increasingly monitored by a growing network of cameras. Contemporary studies have begun to pay attention to the new and highly visible reality that police officers occupy, and speculate about how this reality impacts police work. Attention is also given to how police officers, as the subjects experiencing this higher visibility, understand, and adapt to camera-packed environments, both of which are key questions in the ongoing process of revealing how the police, one of society’s key socio-legal institutions, are impacted by the emerging surveillance society. This article contributes to the study of police perceptions of cameras by reporting the findings of an exploratory qualitative research project entitled the Police on Camera study (POC). The POC study’s findings show that while participating police officers expectedly express resentment towards cameras and photographers, they more often express the opinion that conducting police work in view of cameras is beneficial as it enables the production of favourable video footage which defends police actions against criticism and complaints. Based on the POC study’s finding, this article argues that police officers’ response to cameras are not necessarily shaped by an effort to avoid being recorded as is sometimes argued, but by an effort to optimise the on-camera experience by producing footage which will discredit complaints and reinforce a favourable assessment of the police institution."
AUTHOR
Ajay Sandhu
PUBLISHED
2017 in Policing and Society
High quality source
9
Police Perceptions of Body-Worn Cameras
"Over the past several years there has been resistance from police officers towards implementing body-worn camera (BWC) technology. This paper assesses police perceptions towards BWCs in Pittsburgh and other cities to better characterize and explain such resistance, and also gain insight into the efficacy and potential benefits of BWCs from officers who have used the technology in their daily policing duties. Our surveys and interviews found that overall, Pittsburgh officers strongly believe BWCs can reduce citizen complaints and maintain police-community relations, but support for deploying BWCs throughout the city is low (31%). However, that support significantly increases among officers with hands-on BWC experience (57%). A comparison to previous police surveys found further evidence that BWC experience improves officer perception of the technology. In contrast, Pittsburgh officers who oppose city-wide adoption were concerned BWCs would erode trust between officers and their superiors, implying that police departments that can protect these internal police relationships might experience less resistance from police officers. These and other results suggest that changes in BWC technology, police policy and procedure, rollout, and police training could lead to better BWC programs."
AUTHORS
Jon M. Peha
Max Goetschel
PUBLISHED
2017 in American Journal of Criminal Justice
High quality source
10
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
High quality source
11
Police Perceptions of Body-Worn Cameras
"Over the past several years there has been resistance from police officers towards implementing body-worn camera (BWC) technology. This paper assesses police perceptions towards BWCs in Pittsburgh and other cities to better characterize and explain such resistance, and also gain insight into the efficacy and potential benefits of BWCs from officers who have used the technology in their daily policing duties. Our surveys and interviews found that overall, Pittsburgh officers strongly believe BWCs can reduce citizen complaints and maintain police-community relations, but support for deploying BWCs throughout the city is low (31%). However, that support significantly increases among officers with hands-on BWC experience (57%). A comparison to previous police surveys found further evidence that BWC experience improves officer perception of the technology. In contrast, Pittsburgh officers who oppose city-wide adoption were concerned BWCs would erode trust between officers and their superiors, implying that police departments that can protect these internal police relationships might experience less resistance from police officers. These and other results suggest that changes in BWC technology, police policy and procedure, rollout, and police training could lead to better BWC programs."
AUTHORS
Jon M. Peha
Max Goetschel
PUBLISHED
2017 in SSRN Electronic Journal
Preprint
12
Police Body-Worn Cameras: Perceptions of Law Enforcement Leadership
"Many people are enthusiastic about the potential benefits of police body-worn cameras (BWC). Despite this enthusiasm, however, there has been no research on law enforcement command staff perceptions of BWCs. Given the importance that law enforcement leadership plays in the decision to adopt and implement BWCs, it is necessary to assess their perceptions. This is the first study to measure law enforcement leadership attitudes toward BWCs. The study relies on data collected from surveys administered to command staff representing local, state and federal law enforcement agencies in a large southern county. Among the major perceptual findings are that command staff believe BWCs will impact police officers’ decisions to use force in encounters with citizens and police will be more reluctant to use necessary force in encounters with the public. Respondents also believe that use of BWCs is supported by the public because society does not trust police, media will use BWC data to embarrass police, and pressure to implement BWCs comes from the media. Perceptions of the impact of BWCs on safety, privacy, and police effectiveness are also discussed."
AUTHORS
Jamie A. Snyder
Vaughn J. Crichlow
Matthew S. Crow
John Ortiz Smykla
PUBLISHED
2016 in American Journal of Criminal Justice
High quality source
13
Police body worn cameras: a mixed method approach assessing perceptions of efficacy
"PurposeThe importance of body-worn cameras (BWC) in policing cannot be overstated. This is not a hyperbolic statement – use of force incidents in Ferguson and Baltimore, the ensuing riots, coupled with critical long term implications for police community relations demonstrate the need for BWC data. Few studies have been published on the use of BWCs and little is known about officer perceptions, administrator decision making, and agency use of BWC data. No published studies incorporate qualitative data, which lends important context and depth, in the interpretation of officer survey data. The paper aims to discuss these issues.Design/methodology/approachThe current study presents a mixed-method study of a large university police agency prior to full implementation of BWC. A survey of patrol officers and supervisors, using a census approach with near full participation, coupled with focus group interviews, produced data on perceptions, concerns, and expectations of full BWC implementation.FindingsFindings point to officer concerns regarding the utilization of BWC data and administrative expectations regarding complaint reduction and officer assessment.Originality/valueImportant implications regarding training and policy are presented. BWC data represent an important tool for agency decision makers but have numerous potential negative uses. Understanding officer concerns juxtaposed with administrator expectations, through both survey and qualitative data, advance the knowledge on BWC."
AUTHORS
Steven Keener
William V. Pelfrey Jr
PUBLISHED
2016 in Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management
UNRANKED SOURCE
14
Cynicism Towards Change: The Case of Body-Worn Cameras Among Police Officers
"Police use of body-worn cameras (BWCs), proponents believe, will bring transparency and accountability to police work, and ultimately enhance police legitimacy. As with previous major organizational changes in policing, BWCs may be greeted with cynicism. Such cynicism by officers can obstruct the expected benefits of BWCs to policing. Yet, evidence on the receptivity of officers to BWCs is sparse. We seek to investigate the nature and sources of officers’ cynicism about BWCs. Our data came from a survey of 550 police officers from seven forces in England and Northern Ireland. Results show that cynicism towards BWCs is multi-dimensional, with levels of cynicism varying across these dimensions. Officers were more cynical about public receptivity and the impact on crime prevention, but least cynical about the likely impact on police integrity. Further analysis found that cynicism hinges, largely, on organizational commitment."
AUTHORS
Barak Ariel
Justice Tankebe
PUBLISHED
2016 in SSRN Electronic Journal
Preprint
15
Officer Perceptions of Body-Worn Cameras Before and After Deployment
"Over the past few years, several events have highlighted the strained relationship between the police and residents in many communities. Police officer body-worn cameras (BWCs) have been advocated as a tool by which police–community relations can be strengthened, while simultaneously increasing transparency and accountability of police departments. Support for BWCs from the public and federal government is strong, and some studies have examined police perceptions of BWCs. However, comparisons of officer perceptions of BWCs in different departments are lacking, as are assessments of officer attitudes pre- and post-BWC deployment. This study compares officer perceptions of BWCs in three police departments in the western United States between 2013 and 2015, both before and after BWC program implementation. The similarities and differences among officer perceptions across departments are examined, and the authors consider the implications of findings for police departments moving forward with BWC technology."
AUTHORS
Michael D. White
Charles M. Katz
Natalie Todak
David E. Choate
Janne E. Gaub
PUBLISHED
2016 in Police Quarterly
High quality source
16
Cops and cameras: Officer perceptions of the use of body-worn cameras in law enforcement
"PurposeThere has been a recent surge in the adoption of and media attention to the use of body-worn cameras in law enforcement. Despite this increase in use and media attention, there is little to no research on officer perceptions of body-worn cameras.MethodsThis study relies on baseline data of officer perceptions toward body-worn cameras collected from surveys administered to Orlando Police officers who are participants in a randomized experiment evaluating the impact of body-worn cameras (Taser AXON Flex) in law enforcement.ResultsResults suggest that police officers are, by and large, open to and supportive of the use of body-worn cameras in policing, they would feel comfortable wearing them, and that they perceive a potential for benefits of body-worn cameras in improving citizen behavior, their own behavior, and the behavior of their fellow officers.ConclusionsOfficers are generally supportive of body-worn cameras, and they hold perceptions that these devices can be beneficial in positively affecting relevant outcomes. Study limitations and implications are also discussed."
AUTHORS
Mathew D. Lynch
Lorie A. Fridell
Wesley G. Jennings
PUBLISHED
2014 in Journal of Criminal Justice
High quality source







ADDITIONAL STUDIES TO CONSIDER ADDING TO LIST
Total additional studies: 20
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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 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?

Methods
We 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.

Results
We 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

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The impact of on-officer video cameras on police–citizen contacts: findings from a controlled experiment in Mesa, AZ
You can view the abstract at: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11292-015-9237-8
AUTHORS
Jacob T. N. Young
Justin T. Ready
PUBLISHED
2015 in Journal of Experimental Criminology

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Cops and cameras: Officer perceptions of the use of body-worn cameras in law enforcement
"Purpose
There has been a recent surge in the adoption of and media attention to the use of body-worn cameras in law enforcement. Despite this increase in use and media attention, there is little to no research on officer perceptions of body-worn cameras.

Methods
This study relies on baseline data of officer perceptions toward body-worn cameras collected from surveys administered to Orlando Police officers who are participants in a randomized experiment evaluating the impact of body-worn cameras (Taser AXON Flex) in law enforcement.

Results
Results suggest that police officers are, by and large, open to and supportive of the use of body-worn cameras in policing, they would feel comfortable wearing them, and that they perceive a potential for benefits of body-worn cameras in improving citizen behavior, their own behavior, and the behavior of their fellow officers.

Conclusions
Officers are generally supportive of body-worn cameras, and they hold perceptions that these devices can be beneficial in positively affecting relevant outcomes. Study limitations and implications are also discussed."
AUTHORS
Mathew D. Lynch
Lorie A. Fridell
Wesley G. Jennings
PUBLISHED
2014 in Journal of Criminal Justice

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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

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Police Officers’ Perceptions of Body-Worn Cameras in Buffalo and Rochester
AUTHORS
Scott W. Phillips
Joseph A. Gramagila
PUBLISHED
in American Journal of Criminal Justice

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Body-worn images: Point-of-view and the new aesthetics of policing
"Police organisations across much of the Western world have eagerly embraced body-worn video camera technology, seen as a way to enhance public trust in police, provide transparency in policing activity, reduce conflict between police and citizens and provide a police perspective of incidents and events. Indeed, the cameras have become an everyday piece of police ‘kit’. Despite the growing ubiquity of the body-worn video camera, understandings of the nature and value of the audiovisual footage produced by police remain inchoate. Given body-worn video camera’s promise of veracity, this article is interested in the aesthetics of the camera images and the socio-cultural construction of the cameras as tellers of truth. We treat body-worn video cameras as image-making devices linked to techniques and technologies of power, which construct and frame police encounters in specific ways, and we suggest that the aesthetics and point-of-view nature of the image contribute greatly to the truth-value that the images acquire. This article begins by providing an historical context for the use of cameras and images in policing. We then introduce our framework of visual criminology and present theories of point-of-view as a construct in the diverse areas of gaming, pornography and the visual arts, as well as in television and cinema. The article deploys the cinematic use of point-of-view to unpack the affective impact and aesthetic of the police body-worn video camera footage. We suggest that viewers of the footage are placed in the position of the corporeally absent police officer whose experience has been recorded by a viewfinderless device. This generates a vacillating interplay between subjectivity and objectivity, given that the alleged faithful recording of the event by the body-worn video camera presents a singular perspective and incomplete document that may not necessarily capture the full context of the law enforcement event."
AUTHORS
Murray Lee
Carolyn McKay
PUBLISHED
2019 in Crime, Media, Culture: An International Journal

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Police Body-Worn Cameras
"In the wake of the police shooting of Michael Brown in August 2014, as well as the subsequent protests in Ferguson, Missouri and around the country, there has been a call to mandate the use of body-worn cameras to promote accountability and transparency in police- civilian interactions. Body-worn cameras have received positive appraisal from the NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The latter has stated that their widespread use “[has] 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.” In 2013, the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) sent surveys to 500 of the 12,501 police departments in the U.S, and of the 254 who completed the survey only 63 of the departments reported using body-worn cameras. However, law enforcement agencies throughout the country are now rapidly adopting the cameras. In December 2014, President Obama proposed the Body-Worn Camera Partnership Program, which aims to invest $75 million through a 50% investment matching arrangement with states and localities to cover video storage and equipment expenses, with the goal of underwriting the costs of 50,000 body-worn cameras. The program is part of a broader three-year, $263 million initiative to strengthen community policing, and the funding plan is part of President Obama’s proposed FY2016 budget."
AUTHORS
danah boyd
Alex Rosenblat
Alexandra Mateescu
PUBLISHED
2017 in Center for Open Science

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Police body cameras and professional responsibility: Public records and private evidence
"Extensive media coverage has focused attention on the disproportionate frequency and severity of police use of force against black communities in the United States. Video documentation captured by public officials and private citizens aided by the ubiquity of cell phones has made this violence inescapable, enabling conversations of system-wide problems within a mainstream context. Video documentation has been posed as a means of increasing transparency on the part of police and the district attorneys tasked with the decision of whether or not a police shooting requires the indictment of an officer. This documentation is also simultaneously posed as a check against the unmitigated authority of officer testimony, as a financial windfall for companies selling the technology, and as the ultimate exoneration for police officers attempting to justify their decisions in the field. These concurrent rhetorical registers operate in different domains and rarely overlap. The enormous amount of attention that has been focused on body-camera programs belies a techno-utopian impulse, an investment in a technological fix to complex and interlocking historical and socio-political realities. With this attention, funding has followed, pre-existing body-camera programs have been extended, and pilot programs have launched, presenting new challenges for police departments whose resources cannot meet the fiscal demands of a dramatic technological shift in a short period of time. Similarly, policies and laws regarding these devices themselves as well as the footage they capture have been sluggish to coalesce around coherent principles. This paper examines the emergent markets, policies, and laws governing the footage captured by police-worn body cameras in the United States and employs this footage as a way to reckon with complex ethical issues for information professionals. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]"
AUTHOR
Stacy E. Wood
PUBLISHED
in Preservation, Digital Technology and Culture

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Police body worn cameras and privacy: Retaining benefits while reducing public concerns
"Recent high-profile incidents of police misconduct have led to calls for increased police accountability. One proposed reform is to equip police officers with body worn cameras, which provide more reliable evidence than eyewitness accounts. However, such cameras may pose privacy concerns for individuals who are recorded, as the footage may fall under open records statutes that would require the footage to be released upon request. Furthermore, storage of video data is costly, and redaction of video for release is time-consuming. While exempting all body camera video from release would take care of privacy issues, it would also prevent the public from using body camera footage to uncover misconduct. Agencies and lawmakers can address privacy problems successfully by using data management techniques to identify and preserve critical video evidence, and allowing non-critical video to be deleted under data-retention policies. Furthermore, software redaction may be used to produce releasable video that does not threaten the privacy of recorded individuals."
AUTHOR
Richard Lin
PUBLISHED
in Duke Law & Technology Review

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A Descriptive Study on Police Body Cameras and Civil Liability Cases
"As a result of several highly publicized deaths at the hands of local police officers over the last two years, the public has placed increased pressure on the police for greater transparency and accountability. The use of police body cameras has been one suggested remedy. However, there is a minimal amount of quantitative research about the impacts of police body cameras on the community, the police, and their interactions. This explorative study examines the potential fiscal impact of body-worn cameras by investigating the relationship between the cost of a police body-worn camera program and the annual total of financial civil liability pay outs resulting from police misconduct lawsuits in Oakland, California, from 2003 to 2015. The impact of the body-worn camera program on officer assaults was also examined. While it was hypothesized that the cost of a body-worn camera program would be warranted due to a decrease in annual civil liability settlements, the results indicated that there was no effect. There was, however, a significant decrease in total assaults on police officers. Therefore, while a financial cost-benefit argument cannot be made based on the presently available data, officer safety appears to be greatly enhanced by a body-worn camera program, which can consequentially reduce the cost of healthcare, workman compensation, as well as costs related to missed work. However, due to the limited data and lack of control variables, the present study is only explorative and no definite cost-benefit conclusions to either direction should be drawn based on this study alone."
AUTHOR
Nicolas Berdjis
PUBLISHED

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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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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
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Alex Rosenblat
Alexandra Claudia Mateescu
PUBLISHED
in SSRN Electronic Journal

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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

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The impact of general police officer outlooks on their attitudes toward body-worn cameras
"PurposeThe past five years have seen a growth in studies of police body-worn cameras (BWCs). A large share of the research focused on individual officer attitudes toward these new law enforcement tools. The scholarship, however, focused almost exclusively on their positive and negative perceptions of body cameras or correlations between those attitudes and general officer characteristics. This study examined whether the influence of negative or “concerning” policing attitudes toward body cameras is mediated by other variables, such as officer outlooks toward law enforcement, officers' perceptions of citizen cooperation or their opinions of the public.Design/methodology/approachAn online survey was distributed to a convenience sample of police offices from two Northeastern police agencies.FindingsFindings indicate that the relationship between experience and concerning perceptions of body cameras is mediated by distrust in citizens and perceived civilian cooperation. Further, an office's outlooks regarding aggressive law enforcement tactics do not have a direct effect on concerning perceptions of body cameras, nor do they serve as a mediator between years of experience and concerning perceptions of body cameras.Originality/valueFindings uncover the nuance and complexity of studying and understanding police officer outlooks and perceptions of BWCs. Future experimental designs should include general outlook measures."
AUTHORS
Dae-Young Kim
Scott W. Phillips
Joseph Gramaglia
PUBLISHED
2020 in Policing: An International Journal

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Literature review
Research on body‐worn cameras
"In this article, we provide the most comprehensive narrative review to date of the research evidence base for body‐worn cameras (BWCs). Seventy empirical studies of BWCs were examined covering the impact of cameras on officer behavior, officer perceptions, citizen behavior, citizen perceptions, police investigations, and police organizations. Although officers and citizens are generally supportive of BWC use, BWCs have not had statistically significant or consistent effects on most measures of officer and citizen behavior or citizens’ views of police. Expectations and concerns surrounding BWCs among police leaders and citizens have not yet been realized by and large in the ways anticipated by each. Additionally, despite the large growth in BWC research, there continues to be a lacuna of knowledge on the impact that BWCs have on police organizations and police–citizen relationships more generally."
AUTHORS
Christopher S. Koper
Cynthia Lum
J. Amber Scherer
Megan Stoltz
PUBLISHED
2019 in Criminology & Public Policy

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Officer Perceptions of Body-Worn Cameras Before and After Deployment: A Study of Three Departments
"Over the past few years, several events have highlighted the strained relationship between the police and residents in many communities. Police officer body-worn cameras (BWCs) have been advocated as a tool by which police–community rela- tions can be strengthened, while simultaneously increasing transparency and account- ability of police departments. Support for BWCs from the public and federal government is strong, and some studies have examined police perceptions of BWCs. However, comparisons of officer perceptions of BWCs in different depart- ments are lacking, as are assessments of officer attitudes pre- and post-BWC deploy- ment. This study compares officer perceptions of BWCs in three police departments in the western United States between 2013 and 2015, both before and after BWC program implementation. The similarities and differences among officer perceptions across departments are examined, and the authors consider the implications of findings for police departments moving forward with BWC technology"
AUTHORS
Michael D. White
Charles M. Katz
Natalie Todak
David E. Choate
Janne E. Gaub
PUBLISHED
in Police Quarterly

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Cops and cameras: Officer perceptions of the use of body-worn cameras in law enforcement
"There has been a recent surge in the adoption of and media attention to the use of body-worn cameras in law enforcement. Despite this increase in use and media attention, there is little to no research on officer perceptions of body-worn cameras. Methods: This study relies on baseline data of officer perceptions toward body-worn cameras collected from surveys administered to Orlando Police officers who are participants in a randomized experiment evaluating the impact of body-worn cameras (Taser AXON Flex) in law enforcement. Results: Results suggest that police officers are, by and large, open to and supportive of the use of body-worn cameras in policing, they would feel comfortable wearing them, and that they perceive a potential for benefits of body-worn cameras in improving citizen behavior, their own behavior, and the behavior of their fellow officers. Conclusions: Officers are generally supportive of body-worn cameras, and they hold perceptions that these devices can be beneficial in positively affecting relevant outcomes. Study limitations and implications are also discussed."
AUTHORS
Mathew D. Lynch
Lorie A. Fridell
Wesley G. Jennings
PUBLISHED
in 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
in American Journal of Criminal Justice

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A field experiment of the impact of body-worn cameras (BWCs) on police officer behavior and perceptions
"Amidst the backdrop of considerable citizen unrest in the U.S. stemming from perceived injustices within police-citizen interactions in recent years, many government leaders have relied on the use of body-worn cameras as a means of improving citizen relations. The promise of body-worn cameras is that they might improve officer and citizen behavior given the possibility of retrospective and independent determinations of the appropriateness of behaviors which occur within police-citizen encounters. While the emerging evaluation evidence of their usefulness have been generally promising, overall determinations remain incomplete. Using a partial randomized experimental design, this study evaluated the impact of a test pilot program of body-worn camera use by the Hallandale Beach, Florida Police Department in the U.S. to determine their impact on police officer behavior and perceptions. Findings revealed that officers with BWCs 1) relied on less intrusive methods to resolve incidents, 2) continued to be active rather than abstaining from community contact, and 3) officer perceptions of the usefulness of BWCs remained pessimistic. Implications for policy and future research are discussed."
AUTHORS
Auzeen Shariati
Rob T. Guerette
Andrea M. Headley
PUBLISHED
in Journal of Criminal Justice

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Do police body cameras reduce use of force by the police?
22 studies
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