Body-Worn Cameras and and Civilian Oversight: A Case Study on Camden
Maria Ponomarenko & Barry Friedman
The paper will use as a case study the policymaking process that the authors, under the auspices of the Policing Project at NYU Law, are helping to facilitate in Camden, New Jersey around the department’s new body-worn camera (BWC) program. At the request of the Camden County Police Department (CCPD), we have designed a comprehensive, four-pronged approach to soliciting community input, including an online community survey, a roundtable discussion with community leaders, a town-hall style meeting to the public at large, and interviews with select officers who will be using the cameras during an initial pilot phase. At each stage of the feedback process, we will work to educate community members about the key issues and tradeoffs involved so as to enable a meaningful discussion and exchange. After this information gathering process is complete, we will work with the CCPD to revise its policy in light of the comments we receive, and will prepare a report that responds to the comments received, explaining either how each comment is reflected in the policy, or why the CCPD believed it advisable to proceed otherwise.
Body-Worn Camera Implementation Challenges and Outcomes: Lessons Learned from a Pilot Study
Jennifer Fratello & Matthew Buttice
Body-worn cameras have been embraced across the country as a tool for increasing police accountability and reducing misconduct. While investments in the technology have been significant, research on its effectiveness is still in the still in the early stages. This article traces the history of the use of body-worn cameras, including the development of a body-worn camera policy, in Denver. This article then presents findings from the Office of the Independent Monitor’s analysis of camera activation during uses of force, as well as implications that should be considered by other jurisdictions when developing a body-worn camera policy. The article also presents findings from the analysis of trends in data, focusing on incidents that occurred during the body-worn camera pilot project (July-December 2014), compared to the same months in 2013 and 2015. Finally, this article discusses the significant gap that forthcoming research sponsored by the federal government will fill, as well as the need for additional independent research.