Body-worn cameras are a very new technology. With every new technology, there are risks that threaten the success and effectiveness of the technology. The use of body-worn cameras has produced concerns of citizen’s privacy, officer privacy, and investments and costs of creating and maintaining programs.
Citizen privacy is the biggest concern regarding body-worn camera programs. Body- worn cameras have the potential to infringe on citizens’ expectation of privacy. The technology may also present concerns for vulnerable populations such as children and victims of crime, such as sexual assaults and rapes. Law enforcement agencies must fully investigate state and federal privacy laws before implementing …show more content…
Studies on Body-Worn Cameras
There have been very limited published studies on body-worn police cameras. Multiple studies are currently occurring and this information will allow for better understanding of benefits and risks of body-worn camera programs. Many programs such as the National Institute of Justice are helping fund body-worn camera programs and research to help benefit programs in the future.
There have been three major studies of the technology of body-worn cameras in the United States. The 2012 study of the California Rialto Police Department body-worn camera project, led by Chief of Police William Farrar, involved a random controlled trial in which half of the department’s 54 patrol officers were randomly assigned to wear the TASER AXON body-camera system. In total, the study assigned 988 shifts into 489 treatment and 499 control conditions over a 12-month period. The Rialto study tested the impact of the cameras on citizen complaints and police use of force incidents, comparing officers who wore body cameras to officers who did …show more content…
Policies should clearly state which officers are assigned or permitted to wear body-worn cameras and under which circumstances.
2. Officers who wear body-worn cameras should be required to explain their reasoning if they fail to record an interaction that is required by department policy to be recorded.
3. Officers should be required to inform citizens when they are being recorded unless doing so would be unsafe, impractical, or impossible.
4. Policies should clearly state any types of recordings that are prohibited by the agency or federal or state law.
5. Policies should include specific security measures to prevent data tampering, deleting, and copying by storing their data in a secure location, whether on police servers or the “cloud”
6. Policies should specifically state the length of time that recorded data must be retained by the department.
7. Officers should not be permitted to review video of an incident in which they were involved, prior to making a statement or report about the incident.
8. Departments should have clear and consistent protocols and procedures for releasing recorded data externally to the public. They should also have clear policies regarding how the cost of retrieving data will be