Implementing a Police Body-Worn Camera Program in a Small Agency

Source: 

Arizona State University, Center for Violence Prevention and Community Service, 2017

Authors: 

Janne E. Gaub, Michael D. White, Kathleen E. Padilla, and Charles M. Katz

With the implementation of BWCs across the country increasing rapidly, there has been little attention devoted to the deployment of BWCs by small agencies, and as a result, our understanding of the challenges of cameras in the small agency context is limited. In order to better understand how BWCs affect small agencies, researchers at Arizona State University conducted a multi-state survey of small law enforcement agency executives. The survey, which was administered via the online survey platform Qualtrics, was sent to all jurisdictions with a population of 8,000 or more in 26 states. The surveys were sent directly to the city manager, and the instructions requested a completed survey from any jurisdiction with police department comprised of fewer than 100 sworn officers. The survey queried respondents on a range of issues including goals, benefits, challenges, and lessons learned. Respondents were asked to describe these issues at three different stages of their BWC program: planning, implementation, and post-implementation (e.g., program management). We received 210 surveys (149 completed - an estimated response rate of approximately 5%),1 and this report details the findings from those surveys. This study highlights findings in five key substantive areas.

To read the full report, click here