Thesis

The Impact of Body-Worn Cameras on Police Interactions

New police technologies such as the body-worn camera affect how police officers conduct daily police work. The first official use of body-worn cameras began in Europe in 2005 and then in the US in 2011. During those years, there was no published research on the effectiveness of the devices on policing in the United States. Police shootings of unarmed citizens captivated national media. As a result of the shootings, citizens and community members demanded police reform. Since then, there have been numerous studies conducted across the nation with conflicting results regarding use-of-force incidents and allegations of police misconduct. There is one study that conclusively showed a 15% increase in assaults against police officers wearing a body-worn camera and an increase in the likelihood of deadly force application by a police officer. The study also went on to show a 38% decrease in use-of-force incidents by the same officers. This body-worn camera study concludes a more concise evaluation is needed in order to fully understand the effects of the device. A body-worn camera program affects more than just law enforcement officers; it also influences the community they police and policies adopted by law enforcement, district attorneys. Individuals who are subjected to body-worn camera surveillance will also be affected.

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