Exploring the Potential for Body-Worn Cameras to Reduce Violence in Police–Citizen Encounters


Oxford University Press, January 19, 2017


 Michael D. White, Janne E. Gaub, Natalie Todak

One of the most compelling perceived benefits of body-worn cameras (BWCs) involves the potential for reductions in citizen complaints and police use of force. A handful of early studies reported significant reductions in both outcomes following BWC adoption, but several recent studies have failed to document such effects.The current study explores this question using data from a randomized controlled trial conducted in the Spokane (WA) Police Department. Approximately half of patrol officers (n = 82) were assigned BWCs in May 2015, while the other half (n = 67) received their BWCs 6 months later (November 2015). The study explores the effects of BWCs on use of force, complaints against officers, and officer injuries, using more than three years of official department data pre- and post-BWC deployment.

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