The Research on Body-Worn Cameras: What We Know, What We Need to Know

Source: 

Criminology and Public Policy (2019)

Authors: 

Cynthia Lum, Megan Stoltz, Christopher S. Koper, and J.Amber Schere

This article provides the most comprehensive narrative review to date of the research evidence base for body-worn cameras (BWCs). Seventy empirical studies of BWCs were examined covering the impact of cameras on officer behavior, officer perceptions, citizen behavior, citizen perceptions, police investigations, and police organizations. Although officers and citizens are generally supportive of BWC use, BWCs have not had statistically significant or consistent effects on most measures of officer and citizen behavior or citizens’ views of police. Expectations and concerns surrounding BWCs among police leaders and citizens have not yet been realized by and large in the ways anticipated by each. Additionally, despite the large growth in BWC research, there continues to be a lacuna of knowledge on the impact that BWCs have on police organizations and police-citizen relationships more generally.

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