Researchers from the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research organization, presented the findings of a recent study completed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Spokane, Washington. The preliminary results of the study suggest that officers do not use less force after they begin wearing body cameras. The results of this research sit in contrast to the results of a previous study in Rialto, California, which showed that there were less complaints and less documented use-of-force instances after officers started wearing cameras in 2012.
The Urban Institute provides insight from several experts in its Policy Debate series, including Nancy LA Vigne, Director of the Justice Policy Center, who notes, “Police body-worn cameras are increasingly held up as a solution to preventing police conduct and enhancing police accountability. And early research suggests that body cameras can have an impact on reducing officer use of force, citizen complaints, and other negative outcomes. But the use of cameras and dissemination of the video footage they generate are fraught with myths and misunderstandings.”
View the Urban Institute’s State-by-State Breakdown of policies concerning body-worn cameras.