Body Cameras Will Not Improve Police Behavior!

Research finds police body-worn cameras fall short of expectations

“While much of the research is mixed, its conclusion counters some of the benefits body cameras were expected to bring at a time when more and more departments are investing in the technology.”

Let’s look at the fact American police have been using police vehicle cameras for over three decades. It would be unwise to believe that body cameras would be anymore effective.

What I have learned over many years is that it is foolish to expect a technology to improve police behavior. Period.

If anyone is truly interested in improving the behavior of their police (police chiefs or community leaders) the answer will be found in improving the selection, training, and leadership of our nation’s police officers.

Here’s some recent thinking on body cameras:

“For years, body worn cameras were lauded as the solution to strengthening police accountability and improving transparency, while serving as a tool to repair fractured relationships between law enforcement and certain communities.

“But, according to a recently released study from the Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, body cameras may not be the panacea the nation had hoped.

“According to the report, researchers reviewed 70 empirical studies on body cameras’ effects, ranging in focus from their influence on officer and citizen behavior to influences on law enforcement agencies as a whole. While much of the research is mixed, its conclusion counters some of the benefits body cameras were expected to bring at a time when more and more departments are investing in the technology.” (Cedar Rapids Gazette)