Police Use of Body Cameras

PoliceUse of Body Cameras

PoliceUse of Body Cameras

Inthe United States, the use of force by the police has beenscrutinized heavily after some nasty police encounters with unarmedAfrican-Americans (Ariel, Farrar, &amp Sutherland, 2014). Accordingto Ready &amp Young (2015), this increase in attention has broughtout the calls for the wearing of video cameras by the police officerswhile on regular duty. This issue of body-worn cameras has attractedboth support and opposition in equal measure. Proponents claim thatthese devices are used to build public trust, provide transparency,as well as give evidence for any complaints that are false (Drover &ampAriel, 2015). Opponents, on the other hand, the question when thesedevices are to be switched on or off, the amount of the footage thatthe public should know and assert that they violate the privacy oflaw enforcement officers and citizens (Drover &amp Ariel, 2015).Research is still ongoing on the impact of the of the body camerasused by the police on the citizen complaints. This exposition seeksto lay a foundation for research on the use of body cameras by thepolice influences citizen complaints on the police use of excessiveforce by the police department.

Theresearch question would be whether the use of police body camerasimpacts citizen complaints. The quantitative aspect of the researchwould seek to find an answer to this particular issue. Thequalitative aspect would be: In the police department, what otherissues can the use of body cameras cause? For the study, theindependent variable is the police using body cameras while thedependent variable is the impact on citizen complaints. Thehypothesis states the use of body cameras by the police caninfluence citizen complaints. This postulate is directional since itfocuses on a particular outcome which is the effect on citizencomplaints (Ready &amp Young, 2015). Additionally, it is simple asit predicts the relationship between the independent and dependentvariables. We would measure both the independent and dependentvariables through the results of an experimental field studycomprising an experimental and control group.

Thisparticular research would be quantitative as it would seek to findout whether using body cameras by the police would influence citizencomplaints. The study would examine police officers` behavior andperceptions of body-worn cameras among a given population of policein a given department over a defined period. Data would be gatheredthrough the analysis of experimental field data from field contactreports to determine how officers that wear body cameras and thosethat do not handle citizens as well as identify the complaints ofresidents. The experimental program would randomly assign policeofficers to either the experimental or control groups. Theexperimental group is expected to adorn body audio-visual bodycameras while the control group does not.

Astandardized police tracking system would measure all the recordeduse-of-force incidents. Consequently, researchers would be able tocount the events that occurred during the experimental period as wellas determine whether it is the officer or the suspect that initiatedthe incidence. We would also ascertain the likeliness of citizens tofile complaints. The recordings from the body cameras will beanalyzed to determine whether the police utilized excessive force.The use of force by police officers would be the primary focus eventhough the data could be useful for other analysis. The outcome ofchoice was mainly a validation of the tracking system and reportsfiled regarding the force utilized as well as how the incident wasinitiated. Validity would be threatened by the fact that the policeuse of the cameras by the police would modify the behavior ofcitizens who interacted with the police. The awareness that thepolice are videotaping them would make them want to actcooperatively. The policemen wearing body cameras are likely to feelthat they the department is always monitoring them, and their privacyviolated.

Inconclusion, the research on how police use of body cameras influencecitizen complaints on the use of force by the police department wouldbenefit the police department in many ways. We can extend thefindings to other law enforcement agencies. However, further studiesneed to find out how citizens react to police officers putting onbody cameras.


Ariel,B., Farrar, W., &amp Sutherland, A. (2014). The effect of policebody-worn cameras on use of force and citizens’ complaints againstthe police: A randomized controlled trial.&nbspJournalof Quantitative Criminology,&nbsp31(3),509-535. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10940-014-9236-3

Drover,P. &amp Ariel, B. (2015). Leading an experiment in police body-wornvideo cameras.&nbspInternationalCriminal Justice Review,&nbsp25(1),80-97. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1057567715574374

Ready,J. &amp Young, J. (2015). The impact of on-officer video cameras onpolice–citizen contacts: findings from a controlled experiment inMesa, AZ.&nbspJExp Criminol,&nbsp11(3),445-458. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11292-015-9237-8