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Understanding Police Officer Resistance to Body-worn Cameras, Policing-an International Journal of Police Strategies & Management

NCJ Number
Policing-an International Journal of Police Strategies & Management Volume: 41 Issue: 4 Dated: 2018 Pages: 482-495
Jessica Huff; Charles M. Katz; Vincent J. Webb
Date Published
14 pages
This study examined factors that could explain variation in officer receptivity to body-worn cameras (BWCs).
BWCs have been adopted in police agencies across the United States in efforts to increase police transparency and accountability. This widespread implementation has occurred despite some notable resistance to BWCs from police officers in some jurisdictions. This resistance poses a threat to the appropriate implementation of this technology and adherence to BWC policies. The current study assessed differences between officers who volunteered to wear a BWC and officers who resisted wearing a BWC as part of a larger randomized controlled trial of BWCs in the Phoenix Police Department. Specifically, it examined whether officer educational attainment, prior use of a BWC, attitudes toward BWCs, perceptions of organizational justice, support for procedural justice, noble-cause beliefs, and official measures of officer activity predicted receptivity to BWCs among 125 officers, using binary logistic regression. The study found limited differences between officers who volunteered to wear BWCs and officers who resisted wearing them. Officers who wore the BWCs had higher levels of educational attainment and were more likely to agree that BWCs improve citizen behaviors compared to officers who resisted wearing BWCs; however, there were no differences between the two groups regarding perceptions of organizational justice, self-initiated activities, use of force, or citizen complaints. (publisher abstract modified)