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New Publication Available: The Effect of Body-Worn Cameras on Police Use-of-Force

Police Foundation Executive Fellow, Chief Tony Farrar, recently completed an extensive yearlong study to evaluate the effect of body-worn video cameras on police use-of-force. This randomized controlled trail represents the first experimental evaluation of body-worn video cameras used in police patrol practices. Cameras were deployed to all patrol officers in the Rialto (CA) Police Department. Every police patrol shift during the 12-month period was assigned to experimental or control conditions.

Wearing cameras was associated with dramatic reductions in use-of-force and complaints against officers. The authors conclude:

"The findings suggest more than a 50% reduction in the total number of incidents of use-of-force compared to control-conditions, and nearly ten times more citizens’ complaints in the 12-months prior to the experiment."

We applaud Chief Farrar for his commitment to conducting rigorous scientific research on a technology initiative that has broad implications for the field of policing. The full report, coauthored with Dr. Barak Ariel, Cambridge University, can be found at the following link.

See the New York Times report on the study.

Author information:

Barak Ariel, PhD, Jerry Lee Fellow in Experimental Criminology and Teaching Associate in the Police Executive Programme, Cambridge University

Chief Tony Farrar, Executive Fellow, Police Foundation & Chief of Police, Rialto Police Department

 

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