Research

Resources about Research on BWCs and Related Issues

Do Police Body-Worn Cameras Reduce Citizen Fatalities? Results of a Country-Wide Natural Experiment

Abstract

Objectives

This study assesses the effects of body-worn cameras (BWCs) on rates of fatalities arising from police-citizen encounters. While existing experimental research has not examined this outcome because it is so rare, the staggered roll-out of BWCs across the nation’s law enforcement agencies provides an opportunity for quasi-experimental analysis.

Body-Worn Camera Footage: What do we do with all that evidence? (Part II)

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) launched the Body-Worn Camera (BWC) Policy and Implementation Program (PIP) in FY 2015 to assist law enforcement agencies in enhancing or implementing BWC programs. PIP’s primary goals are to improve public safety, reduce crime, and improve trust between police and the citizens they serve.

Is There a Civilizing Effect on Citizens? Testing the Pre- Conditions for Body Worn Camera-Induced Behavior Change

The cause(s) of reduced use of force and complaints following police body-worn camera (BWC) deployment remain unclear, though some argue that BWCs generate a civilizing effect on citizen behavior. This potential effect rests on four pre-conditions:

(1) BWC presence and citizen awareness;

(2) BWC activation;

(3) Escalated citizen behavior or the potential for escalation;

(4) Citizen mental capacity for BWC awareness.

Police BWCs as ‘Neutral Observers’: Perceptions of public defenders

The research on police body-worn cameras (BWCs) has rapidly expanded to evaluate the technology’s impact on a range of police outcomes. Far fewer studies have addressed the various effects on downstream criminal justice actors, and those that do have focused almost entirely on prosecutors. Thus, public defenders have remained on the periphery of the police BWC discussion, despite playing an important role as an end-user of the technology.