Policy Resource

Assessing the Utility of Body-Worn Cameras for Collegiate Police Agencies

Nearly all scholarship on body-worn cameras (BWCs) has focused on municipal police departments, as they comprise a majority of sworn agencies. Given the unique environment of collegiate law enforcement agencies, however, it is possible that their paths to BWCs—and the benefits and challenges they experience—vary from that of more traditional agencies. Using a survey of 126 collegiate police departments and in-depth interviews with 15 collegiate police executives, this study describes their goals, challenges, and benefits related to BWCs.

Body Worn Camera Site Spotlight: Jonesboro, AR

Jonesboro, Arkansas, is a city of 75,000 in the northeastern corner of the state, approximately 70 miles from Memphis, Tennessee. Located within one of the fastest growing counties in Arkansas, Jonesboro is home to Arkansas State University and its 13,000 students. In 2018, Jonesboro PD received a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) Body-Worn Camera Policy and Implementation Program (BWCPIP).

Tampa Police Department Body Worn Camera Audit Form

The Tampa, Florida, Police Department provided an example of its Body Worn Camera Audit Form to assist agencies in implementing similar audit practices.

Objective: Provide an accurate performance assessment of departmental operations as they relate to defined standard operating procedures and policies.

The Quality Assurance Unit conducts monthly compliance reviews which include police reports, administrative documentation, logs, body worn cameras and site inspections for each district.  A detailed report is issued to each district for follow-up and corrections.

Body-Worn Cameras in Community Supervision

Video technology has been an important public safety tool for decades. From the earliest closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems in correctional facilities to in-dash cameras in police vehicles, video technology has been used to deter criminal behavior, document encounters or behaviors of interest, and to investigate and solve crimes. The current iteration of video technology in public safety is body-worn cameras (BWC). The use of BWCs dates back to 2005 when small-scale tests were conducted in police departments in the United Kingdom (Goodall, 2007).

Does Agency Size Matter? Key Trends in Body-Worn Camera Policy and Practice


This report serves as an addendum to our more extensive four-year policy analysis report. Refer to the larger report for a more detailed description of the methodology, selection of policy issues, and general policy trends. In this report, we explore whether there is variation in body-worn camera (BWC) policy positions across agencies of different sizes. For example, do departments with fewer than 25 officers address BWC policy issues such as activation and de-activation the way much larger agencies do?

BWC Community Engagement Guidance


This document helps law enforcement agencies develop strategies to engage their communities when deploying body-worn cameras (BWCs). This guidance builds on lessons learned from the BWC Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) Team’s work with hundreds of agencies. These agencies were funded through the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) BWC Policy and Implementation Program (PIP).

Body-Worn Cameras as a Potential Source of Depolicing

Contentious debate is currently taking place regarding the extent to which public scrutiny of the police post-Ferguson has led to depolicing or to a decrease in proactive policework. Advocates of the “Ferguson effect” claim the decline in proactive policing increased violent crime and assaults on the police. Although police body-worn cameras (BWCs) are touted as a police reform that can generate numerous benefits, they also represent a form of internal and public surveillance on the police.

Fairfax County Police Department's Body-Worn Camera Pilot Project: An Evaluation

In 2017, the Fairfax County (Virginia) Police Department, known as FCPD, decided to launch a pilot implementation of body-worn cameras (BWCs) to learn what the technology involved, the response of its officers to it, what community members and local organization leaders would think, and the changes in policing practices and outcomes that would occur. Some police agencies in the Metropolitan Washington, DC area had already adopted BWCs and there was a push nation-wide to implement them quickly in the face of numerous high-profile and controversial interactions between police and citizens.