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Major Study on Police Body Cameras Shows Win-Win Results

Body cameras to be worn by Sarasota Police
Posted at 8:15 AM, Oct 13, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-13 04:39:26-04

SARASOTA, FL --   Researchers at the University of South Florida concluded police body cams help reduce confusion about use of force issues.

Orlando Police worked with USF on the study and gave about 40 officers cameras and compared it to 40 officers who didn't have cameras. After a year, there were fewer complaints against officers wearing the cameras.

More From the City of Orlando About the Study:

More than a year ago, the Orlando Police Department and University of South Florida researchers embarked on a study to determine whether body worn cameras enhance safety and transparency and lessens the number of complaints against officers.

During the Body Worn Camera study, which took place from March 2014 through February 2015, 46 officers were randomly assigned to wear BWCs and 43 officers were randomly assigned to not wear BWCs.

The results, released this week, suggest that BWCs are an effective tool to reduce response to resistance incidents and complaints. And it shows that although before the study began nearly all of the officers were skeptical that BWCs would have a positive impact on their behavior, wearing a camera did positively influence their behavior.

And many of the officers agreed that BWCs improve evidence collection, report writing and help officers improve their police work in general by having the opportunity to review their own video. Finally, the majority of the officers want to keep their BWC, believe the agency should implement a full-scale adoption, and are willing to train their peers in BWC implementation and operation.

“We believe the use of body cameras will strengthen community trust, improve accountability and transparency, protect our officers from false complaints and provide valuable evidence for prosecutors,” Chief John Mina said.

See video from the study here