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Cops, Cameras, and CrisisThe Potential and the Perils of Police Body-Worn Cameras$
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Michael D. White and Aili Malm

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781479820177

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479820177.001.0001

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Charting a Course for Body-Worn Cameras in the Twenty-First Century

Charting a Course for Body-Worn Cameras in the Twenty-First Century

(p.103) 5 Charting a Course for Body-Worn Cameras in the Twenty-First Century
Cops, Cameras, and Crisis

Michael D. White

Aili Malm

NYU Press

There are two objectives in this chapter. The first is a forward-looking review of the next set of challenges for BWC adopters. These challenges span the factors that can influence diffusion (characteristics of the innovation, innovators, and environment) and center on both human and technological elements of a BWC program. The authors assess the next set of human-based challenges with BWCs, such as addressing activation compliance (and dealing with low-end activators), addressing controversies surrounding the public release of video and officers’ authority to review video after a critical incident (i.e., a shooting), managing citizens’ and other nonusers’ expectations of the technology (handling the onset of a “CSI effect” with BWCs, where if there is no video, then it did not happen), and being responsive to changing laws on evidence, privacy, and access to BWC footage. The authors also consider emerging technological innovations such as automatic activation, the integration of BWCs and facial recognition, and the role and use of “big data” with BWCs. The second objective centers on planning and implementation. More specifically, the authors delve into how law enforcement agencies can navigate the well-known and newly emerging challenges surrounding BWCs in order optimize the likelihood of achieving positive outcomes. In particular, they focus on a “best-practice” implementation guide developed by the US Department of Justice, called the “Law Enforcement Implementation Checklist.” The chapter concludes with a few important takeaway messages regarding the future of BWCs in policing.

Keywords:   future of police body-worn cameras, body-worn camera activation, facial recognition, big data

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