BWCs and Police Organization and Practice

The Effects of Body-Worn Cameras On Police Organization and Practice: A Theory-Based Analysis


Policing and Society: An International Journal of Research and Policy (2018) 


Marthinus C. Koen, James J. Willis & Stephen D. Mastrofski

This study applies the technical/rational model of organizations to help explain the effects of body-worn cameras on police organization and practice in a single police agency in the United States. Consistent with the technical/rational model, cameras had enhanced those people processing and environment-changing features of the police organisation which had tangible goals and well understood means for their accomplishment. In comparison, body-worn cameras were less successful in changing supervision and training, which were not well developed technically. We posit that improvements in these people changing aspects of police work will likely require public pressure for higher levels of police professionalism, rigorous evidence on how these cameras can make training and supervision more effective, and police agencies willing to experiment with their strategic implementation.

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