BWCs and Law Enforcement Agencies

Body-Worn Cameras in Law Enforcement Agencies, 2016


The Bureau of Justice Statistics 


Shelley S. Hyland

Author (s) Abstract: In 2016, nearly half (47%) of the 15,328 general-purpose law enforcement agencies in the United States had acquired body-worn cameras (BWCs) (figure 1). By comparison, 69% had dashboard cameras and 38% had personal audio recorders. Findings are based on the 2016 Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics - Body-Worn Camera Supplement (LEMAS-BWCS) from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). The LEMAS-BWCS was administered for the first time in 2016. Data were collected from a nationally representative sample of general-purpose law enforcement agencies (i.e., municipal, county, and regional police departments; sheriffs’ offices with law enforcement duties; and primary state and highway patrol agencies). The LEMAS-BWCS excluded federal agencies, sheriffs’ offices with only jail or court duties, and special-purpose agencies such as transit police and campus police.

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