MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Cynthia Lum, PhD
Professor of Criminology
Law and Society
George Mason University
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Body-worn cameras (BWCs) are one of the most rapidly diffusing technologies in policing today, costing agencies and their municipalities millions of dollars. Recent estimates by the Bureau of Justice statistics indicate that over 60% of local police departments have already acquired BWCs. This adoption has been propelled by highly publicized officer-involved shootings and other death-in-custody events in this decade, as well as more generally by continuing concerns regarding police-citizen relationships, particularly within communities of color.
All of these contexts prompt the need to better understand the impacts and effects of BWCs as they diffuse rapidly into policing. Specifically, do BWCs achieve the expectations that citizens, communities, and the police have of them?
This article provides a narrative review of 70 studies, representing over 110 findings, about what we know from research across six important Body-worn cameras domains:
(1) the impact of BWCs on officer behavior;
(2) officer attitudes about BWCs;
(3) the impact of BWCs on citizen behavior;
(4) citizen and community attitudes about BWCs;
(5) the impact of BWCs on criminal investigations; and (6) the impact of BWCs on law enforcement organizations.