The first randomized controlled experimental evaluation of body worn cameras was conducted over 12 months in Rialto, California (2012-2013). Results indicate that there was a 60% decrease in police use of force, and an 88% decrease in citizen complaints against officers compared to the previous year (Ariel, Farrar, Sutherland, 2014).
A replication of the Rialto experiment was conducted using 7 large and small police departments in the United States and Britain (the largest randomized controlled trial in the history of criminal justice research). The findings from this experiment also indicate a decrease in citizen complaints against officers (93%) (Ariel, Sutherland, Henstock et al. 2016); and a 37% decrease in police use of force – when officers recorded nearly every interaction. However, when officers could turn their cameras on & off at will, results indicate a 71% INCREASE in police use of force. Results from this study also show the rates of assaults against officers wearing cameras were 15% HIGHER compared to shifts without cameras (Ariel Sutherland, Henstock et al. 2016).
As there is evidence that cameras may increase police use of force, and the risk of assaults against officers, attention needs to paid to how these devices are implemented. But there have also been other concerns raised about the use of body cameras.
A. Read the article: “Should we see everything a cop sees” http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/23/magazine/police-body-cameras.html?_r=0
B. And visit the web page: Police Body Camera Policies: Privacy and First Amendment Protections https://www.brennancenter.org/analysis/police-body-camera-policies-privacy-and-first-amendment-protections
C. Discuss at least one other possible concern or “con” that has been raised regarding police use of body cameras from these (or other external) sources. Do you think police body cameras are a good idea? Yes or no, and why? Provide evidence for your position. If yes, which, if any, restrictions should department policies include?
D. Provide references (e.g. peer reviewed journal article, trade publication, newspaper article, magazine article, government website etc.) The source(s) must provide additional information. Provide both parenthetical references (in-text citations) for the information in your answer, and the complete citations in a reference list (see the APA Ref/Citation Help button on the BB menu).