Police body-worn cameras (BWCs) have diffused rapidly in law enforcement in the United States and abroad over the last few years. The rapid diffusion of police BWCs has been driven, in part, by findings from a handful of early research studies which suggest cameras can produce a range of positive outcomes, including reductions in use of force and citizen complaints, enhanced prosecution outcomes, and increased perceptions of procedural justice among citizens.
Body worn cameras (BWCs) have been in the news for the past couple of years. To better educate local governments on the trending issues surrounding this topic, Leonard Matarese will lead a discussion with the CNA Institute for Public Research, which directs and coordinates technical assistance regarding BWCs for the hundreds of police agencies that have received funding in recent years from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) under the BWC Policy and Implementation Program (PIP).
Early research indicates that the deployment of police body-worn cameras (BWCs) may generate numerous benefits for a law enforcement agency, from enhanced legitimacy and transparency to reductions in violence between citizens and police. However, more recent research has been mixed in terms of impact. One potential reason for the mixed findings involves poor implementation. BWC programs come with a high degree of difficulty, and the potential for implementation failure is significant.