Research 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.

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.

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.

Review of Michael D. White and Aili Malm, Cops, Cameras, and Crisis: The Potential and the Perils of Policy Body-Worn Cameras

Police body-worn cameras (BWCs) have proliferated rapidly throughout the U.S. since 2014, when several controversial police killings of Black citizens sparked demand for police reform. BWCs featured prominently among the recommendations made by President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing and have since been touted as a tool that can increase police transparency, accountability, and legitimacy; improve police-citizen interactions; and aid in criminal investigations.

Community perceptions: procedural justice, legitimacy and body-worn cameras

Body-worn cameras (BWCs) have received increasing empirical attention as more police agencies rapidly deploy this new technology among officers. Recent research estimates that around half (47.4%) of all agencies and a large majority of those with 500 or more officers (79.6%) have established an operational BWC program (Hyland, 2018). BWCs can improve police operations by providing objective, recorded accounts of police-community interactions that can provide valuable evidence in investigations.

Do the Effects of Police Body-Worn Cameras on Use of Force and Complaints Change Over Time? Results From a Panel Analysis in the Milwaukee Police Department.

Police body-worn cameras (BWCs) can help improve transparency, accountability, and policing behaviors. This study extends prior BWC research by using a panel analysis design with a measure of treatment duration to examine how the effects of BWCs change over time.