Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – Department of Justice and Human Services

First Advisor

Marcelo Castro

Second Advisor

James Nardozzi

Third Advisor

Chad Waxman

Abstract

The purpose of this study explored if police officers wearing body-worn cameras contributed to an increased perception of safety among community members. Further emphasis centered on community support of body-worn cameras, officers who deployed the technology, and perceived trust of citizens geared at improving relations between police and the community. The current study set out to provide an evaluation of police body-worn cameras and their perceived safety impact on citizens (n=166). Perceptions of police officers (n=200) supporting the cameras were also examined in the sampling. A One-Same Binomial Test proved ninety-one percent of citizen respondents believed the cameras would enhance safety between officers and the public while objectively documenting police-citizen encounters. Public support for police deploying body-worn cameras exists. Officers who support the wearing of body-worn cameras in the performance of an assigned work shift favored 65% while the remaining 35% of respondents did not. Lastly, 58% of officers either “agree” or “strongly agree” that body-worn cameras are capable of improving documentation between their encounters with the public. Results of the researcher’s hypothesis concluded there is no difference supporting the use of body-worn cameras between citizens and police. Proven to fit into a larger progression of research, future studies are recommended to increase the generalizibility of the study and expand same to other regions of the country while considering an increased sample population.

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