BWC TTA Updates

During this webinar, presenters discussed how to strike the proper balance between compliance and discipline. They provided insights and imparted experiences regarding how body-worn camera programs may impact police agencies as they relate to auditing BWC Programs for compliance. This webinar consisted of a panel of three experts from different sized agencies, who discussed their experiences with body worn camera compliance reviews.

To view the webinar recording, click here.

How the first U.S. EMS agency adopted, implemented body cameras

Cypress Creek, TX, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), which services the largest EMS Emergency Services District in Harris County, became the first EMS provider in the United States to roll out body cameras and a digital data management solution. To ensure the agency implemented the cameras successfully, they started slowly with a trial in 2012 that evolved into a clinical study that lasted 18 months. At first, the body cameras were deployed only to supervisors as they responded to all high acuity calls. However, after seeing the success and benefits of the program during the trial, Cypress Creek EMS deployed body cameras system-wide in 2018. All lead paramedics and supervisors wear the same camera. The camera, Nealy said, is designed to be worn in a point-of-view manner, attached to protective eyewear. "We found that POV placement worked better than on the center of the chest," he said. "Capturing the line of sight of the paramedic is important to show what the paramedic is seeing. Is it the vocal cords during an intubation or the ultrasound monitor while performing a FAST exam? POV placement captures it all."

Over the past five years, the number of research studies on BWCs has exploded, from just five in 2014 to nearly 120 as of December 2019. The studies address numerous outcomes including use of force and citizen complaints, officer and citizen perceptions, court outcomes, and officer activity measures (e.g., arrests and self-initiated calls). Some utilize “gold standard” randomized controlled trials (RCTs), whereas others use less rigorous methods. The early studies on BWCs were almost universally positive (e.g., studies of police departments in Rialto (CA), Mesa (AZ), Phoenix (AZ), and Orlando (FL)). Over time, however, the findings have become more mixed. Some studies look at the same outcomes but produce opposite findings. Some studies show that BWCs reduce complaints and use of force, which others show no impact. How can we make sense of this growing—and sometimes conflicting—body of research? 

Read the full commentary here.

In this second segment of the Body Worn Cameras in a University Setting podcast, Dr. Gaub, Chief Book, Captain Wade & Lieutenant Millington discussed the nuts and bolts of a University Police BWC program, such as vendor and storage options, unique stakeholders in the University setting, and advice they would give to agencies thinking of implementing their own BWC program in a University setting.

To listen to the podcast, click here.