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Research on Body Worn Cameras: Meeting the Challenges of Police Operations, Program Implementation, and Randomized Controlled Trial Designs

NCJ Number
Police Quarterly Dated: July 18, 2016
Date Published
July 2016
22 pages
Drawing on the authors' experiences in an experiment with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department regarding its use of officer body worn cameras (BWCs), this article discusses the programmatic challenges of implementing a BWC program in a large agency (technical, political, and administrative) while simultaneously evaluating the program using a randomized controlled trial design.
As police departments across the United States equip officers with body worn cameras, research has focused on the technology's impact on police interactions with citizens, officer misconduct, officer use of force, and false allegations against police. Given the large number of police agencies implementing BWCs across the country (numbering in the thousands), there will be a growing number of opportunities for BWC evaluations and expectations that these programs will be evaluated. Studying the implementation of BWCs presents a number of challenges to both researchers and police agencies, particularly when large police organizations are involved. (Publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: July 1, 2016