The Effects of Body-Worn Cameras on Violent Police Victimization

The Effects of Body-Worn Cameras on Violent Police Victimization


Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice (2020)


Stephen Douglas 

Body-worn cameras (BWCs) have been presented as a technological innovation to cultivate greater civility in police–citizen interactions. Attempts have been made to clarify the impact of BWCs upon various policing outcomes, but the effects of BWCs on assaults against police has received scant research attention. Existing studies have been limited to a handful of jurisdictions with limited generalizability to a broader range of police organizations. Combining a number of official data sets for the years 2011–13, the current study assesses the relationship between BWCs and police victimization by focusing on total assaults and firearm assaults against police officers in a sample of 516 police agencies. The results indicate that BWC usage is negatively associated with police victimization in both models. This suggests that BWCs can assist in preventing the occurrence of general and extreme violence against police in a wide range of law enforcement agencies in varied settings.

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