Police Performance Massively Improved by Surveillance

Author: Carlton Purvis, Published on May 22, 2013

A California city police chief used his department to conduct an experiment on the power of surveillance. For a year, officers were fitted with cameras to record every interaction they had with the public. Would the cameras help reduce complaints against police or use-of-force incidents? What he found was that both fell dramatically. For this note, we interviewed the police chief about his research (see his full study) and findings. Additionally, we spoke with the ACLU for their feedback.

Body Cameras vs CCTV

Past research, from a number of sources shows, that humans will exhibit more socially acceptable behavior when they know they are being watched. If the person watching is a boss, supervisor or authority figure the effect is even more pronounced. “What is less known,” Police Chief William A. Farrar says, “is what happens when the observer is not a ‘real person’, and whether being videotaped can have an effect on aggression and violence.”

The chief says that “when certainty of apprehension for wrongdoing is high, socially and morally-unacceptable acts are dramatically less likely to occur.” His hypothesis was that mobile cameras would give that extra self-awareness to deter police and the public from socially unacceptable behavior.

CCTV is a valuable deterrent, but does not provide that high rate of certainty of apprehension, he said. “When people see an officer wearing a camera, their self-awareness is heightened a bit more.” Chief Farrar says studies of CCTV in public places and speed cameras show that a reduction in undesired behavior is usually minimal. It is that extra “dosage” of self-awareness that comes with seeing a camera being worn by an officer that makes the difference, he said.

The Method

For one year, he randomly assigned half the department's shifts to wear body mounted cameras that would record interactions with the public. At any given time, 50% of the Rialto police force was wearing a camera. Officers were instructed to turn the camera on before any interaction with the public.

He tracked both use-of-force incidents (anything from “compliance holds” to pepper spray, Tasers, and firearms) and public complaints.

The Tool

The camera is a Taser Axon Flex, a three-inch long, miniature camera that can be mounted anywhere from cars to sunglasses to collars and hats. It has a 12-hour battery life and can hold 5-6 hours of footage.  It also records audio. The camera has a buffer feature that constantly records the last 30 seconds so once an officer turns the camera on, there is a record of what happened leading up to the recording. When the camera is docked to charge the battery at the end of a shift, footage for the day is automatically uploaded to an officer’s profile on Evidence.com, Taser’s cloud storage service. The cost is around $1200 per camera, which includes cameras, a battery pack, charger and a mounting kit.


****'* ***** ** * **** ***** ** ******** ** *** of *** *******: 

The ******* ** *** *******

****** *** ****-**** ***** ******** *** *,*** ************ *** ***** and ******** **** **** **,*** ***** ** ************. ****** ***** that ****** ******** **** *** ******* *** ** ** **% reduction ** ******* ********** *** * **% ********* ** ***-**-***** incidents, *** ***** ***-**-***** ******** *** ****** ** ******. ***** was **** * ********* ** ******** ** ****** ********. *** chief **** ***** **** ***** **** ***** ** **** ***-**-***** incidents ** ****** ***** ******** **** *** ******* *******. ******** saw *,*** **** ************ **** *** ****** ****** *** ***** than **** *** ** *** ** ****** *****. 

** ***-**-***** ********* **** ******** ******* *******, ******* **** ****** used. ** *** ** ***** ***** ******** **** ********** ** a ******** ******.

** **** ********* ********* ******** ******* ******* ******** **** ***** without ***** **********. **** ***** ******** **** ******** **** **** cameras **** *** *****. 

*** ****** ***** ***** *** ***** ***** **** **** ******* work ** * ********* *** **** ****** ******** *** *** public, ****** *** ***** ***** **** ******* **** ********* ** apprehension ** *** ** ***%. “**** *** *** * ********** camera ** ******, *** **** ****** **** ******** *** **** to ** * ****** *** **** ************,” ** ****. ****** of *** ********* ********* ** ******** ** *************** **** **** the ****** *** *** ****** *** ******* **** ** ******* what ** ****** “**** ********,” * ******** *** ******** ****** of **** **** ** ****** **** *******. 

***** ****** *** ******* ** **** ** ******* ** *** six **** ****** **** *** *****. ***** ** **** ** July ***, *** ******* **** ** *********** **********-**** *** *** uniformed *******, ****** *****, *** ******* ******** *** ****** ***** units.

Other ********Before deploying the cameras officers were required to attend instructional briefings and take an opinion survey. For the most part, the officers were receptive to the cameras (“Of course the younger ones tend to be a little more tech savvy. They were a little more accepting than some of the tenured officers,” the chief said.)

*** ****** *** ************ ***** ******* ******* *** **********, *** although ***** **** *** **** ********** ******* ** *******’* ******** about *** *******, ** *** **** ****** ****** ** **********, job ************, ******* ** ********* *** **** **********. 

“* ***** ********* *** *********** ***’* ****** ** **********," *** chief ****. *** ***** ****** ********* ** **, *** **’* a ***** ******* ** *** ********. ***** ******* ******* *** whole ******** **** ***** ** ******. *** ** *** ***** less **** ******* **** ********* ********** *** *** * ******* of ******* ********** **** ** ***** ** ********.”

“**** ***** ****’* *** *** ****** **. **** ** ********* a ****** ******. **** ** ********* *** *** *** *********** profession,” ** ****. ** ***** **** ** *** ****** **** departments **** ***** *** ********.

ACLU *******

"** **** **** **** ************ *** ******* ******* ** ***** ability ** ***** ** ** ********* ********* *** *** ******," said **** ****** ****** ********** *******. ******* **** ******* ********** ** ******** ******** *******'* **** control ** ******* *** ******* ** *** ***. *********** ****** also **** ***** ******** *********** ****** ** *****, *** ** recordings *** ****** **********.

"*** ***** *** ******* ********* ** ******, *** ** **** have ******* ************," ******* ****. "**** ***** ** ***** **** someones ***** *** ****** ************* **** ******* -- *** *** of **** ** ***** ********. ** *** ***** ** *** that [*** **] ** ***."

******* **** *** ******* ** *** ***** *** ****** ***** and **** **** ******* *** * **** ******** ********* ** things, ********* *** ******** ** ******. 

IPVM ********

*** ******* ** **** ***** ********* ******* ******* ******* ** this *****. **** *** *** ******** ** *** *****, ****** perceptions ** *** *******, ***** **** ********** ***** ** *** the ********** ******* ******* *** ********* ************ **** ** ********. **** cameras ***** **** ** * **** **** *** ***********, **** the ****, **** * ******* ** ********* *****. *** **** may ** ***** *** ******* ********, *** *** ********** ****** could **** ** ******** *** **** (****** ** **** * DHS *****). 

******** **** ****** *** ** ***** ******** *** ****** ********* this ***** ** * ***** ************ **** *** ****** *** number ** **********. *** ******* ****** ** **** * ******* ****** officer *******, *** ***** *** ***** ***** ** ** *****, like**** *** **** ******* **** ** **********, ***** **** **** *** ****** **, ******** *** ***** going ** ********* *** ****** **** *** *****. *** ************* ** body ******* **** ****** ** *** *********** ** ****** *********** to ******** ****** ****** ** **********. *** ***** **** *** cameras *** *** ********* ** ************ ** ***%, *** **** is **** ***% ** *** ****** ******** ******** ******** *** break *** *****.

Comments (10)

* *** ***** ** **** ***** **** * ***** **** loved ** **** ***** *** ***** ** ** *********** **** a ******* *** ***** ******* * *** **** ** *** used ***** ******* **** **** **** **** ***** ******* ** cause ** ** **** ** *** *****.

** * *** ******* *** *** ********* ** *** ***** on *** **** ********** ******* ******** **** ****** ****** "**********" (which ***** *** ******* *** ******* **** *** ********* **** he ***, *** **** *** **** *** ******* *** ******** to **), ** *** ******* *** ******* ******* *** *********** was ***** ***** *** ********. ************* ****** ** *** *****, from *** *****:

"** ***** ** ********** ******* ********, ** **** ****** ** compute * ********* ****** ** *******, ***** *** ******* ********* was ** ***** **** ***** **** *** ****** ********** ** conduct *** ********** ******** (**** *** ********* ****** *** ** incident **** *** ******** ****** ******* ********** *** *** *** incidents **** ******** ****** ********* *********). ***********, ***** *** ** overall ********* **** ** ********** ***** ****** ** *** ** months ****** *** ***** ** *** * ****** *** ***** - ** *.** ********** *** *,*** ******** ******** ** .*** per *,*** ********."

* **** **** ** *** ******** ***'* **** ********** ******* police **** *** ******* ** ***** ***** **** ******** ******* they **** **** *** ** ****** *** **** ** ****** lying ***** **.

***** *****. *'* *** *** **** ********** ******* ******. ** will ** ********** ****** *** *********** ** ***** ** * consent ** ****** *** ****** ***** ***********. ** ****** ********* a *** ** ***** ******** ** ******* ** ******** ********.

*****, ***** ********! *** *********:

  • ** *** ***** **** ****** ******** ***** ****** ** **** as '*** *******'?
  • **** ** *** ***** ***** *** ****? ***** ***** ***** I ******* *** $*,***+? **** ** ******* **?

*) **** ****. ****** *** ***** **** **** *** **** to ***** **** *******. *** ******* **** **** ******* *** units ********** ****** *** ********* **** ** *** ******** ****** and *********** (***** ***) *** ****. **** ***** **** ******* within ** ***** **** ******. *** **'* ** *** ****, it's ********. *** **** **** ****** **** **** ****.

*) **** ******* **** **** *** *** **** ****** *******. Imagine *** *** ***** ***** **** ** ************* ********** ******* officers. ** * ********** *** **** *** ********* *** ** Internal ******* *** *** **** **** **** ***** **** **** do ****, **** ***** *** *** *** **** *****. ****** PD *** *** ********, ** *** ************ **** ** ****** would *** *** *** ******** **** ** *** ****.

*** **** ********* *** ********* ** *** ***** *** ***** payments, *** ******* ***** ****** ** ***** **** **** **** the ****'* **** ******* *** ******* *** ** ** ****** all ******** **** ****.

**, **** ***** *** ** ***** *** ******* ** **** are ****** ** ******* *** *********** ** *****....*** ***** *****'* say ** **** *** * ********* ****** *****. **** ******* need ** ** ****, ******* ** ***** *********.

***** ***** *** ********, **** *** *** **** ***** *****! :)

***********. ***** ** ******* ******, ****** ************ *** ********** **** generally ********* ********* *** **** ********* *** ******* ************ *********** incidents. ***** ********* ****. ********* **** **** **** ** **** approach.

******* ******* ******* ****, *** ***** ** ** ******** ** the **** ******. ** ****: ** *'* ******, ***. * have * ****** ** ***** ********. ** *'* ********, **. I **** * ****** ** ***** *********. (* ** ************).

* ***** **** ********** ******* ****** ******** **** ******* **** condition *) ** **** ** ********* *). *** ********* ******** is * ******* *********** **** **** *****'* ********** ************, *** to ******* * ***** ***** ********'* ********** ************.

*** ****'* ****** ** * ****** ***********. **** ***'* **** to **** ******** *** ******* ** **** *** *** *******, yet **** *** ********* ***** ********* ******* ********** ****** ** on ***. * ***'* ********** ***** ******.

** ** ******* ******* ** **** * ****** *** *** an ******** ******, **** ** ***** ** **** *** ***** to *** ****** ***/** **** **** ** ** ****'* **** the ******* ** ****** ** ** *** ***** *****. ** seems *********** ***** ****** ***** ***** ******** **** ** ******* is ******* ** **** *** *** ****** (*** ** ***** simply ***** ********** ****** ** *** ********* ****** ******* ** off).

** * ** ******** * ****** ******* ** ** ** private ******** ** **** ** ****, * ***** **** *** right ** ******* **** ***** ******* ** ****** ***. ********* if **** **** ******** ** ******** ******** **** ****** *** cameras *** ***** ** **** ***** **** **, *** ** that ***** * **** ************ ** ***** ** *******.

** * ****** ****** **** *** *********** ******* * **** we *** **** ********** ********* **** ** *** ***. * personally ****** *** **** * ***** ***** ************* ******** **** voice ********** *** **** ** ***********. *** **** $** ******* * **** ***** ** *********.

** ** **********, ** **** **** ******** *** ***** **** worn *******. * **** **** ********* **** ********* **** *** quality ** *** ***** *** *** *****. ** *** ********* to *** **** ****** ******** *** **** *** ******** ****** of ******* ** ******* ******** ** *** *****. ** *** number ** ******* ******* ******* ********* *** ** ***** ***** expands **********, * ***** *** ** *.*.* ************ ***** ** a ********* ** *** ******. ** ** ******* ****** *****, I *** ***** (**** *** **** **** ** ******) **** a *.*. ******* ******** * ********* ***** ***** * ******* used *** ********* ******* *** ******* ** ** ******/*** ** force *********.

****, **** ********, ******!

*** *** ** ******** ***** *** ** ***** **********. * found *** (***) ** ********* **** *******,*** ********** *** **** ** *** ** *****, **** *% were ********* ******* *** *******.

****:

***, ** **** *** "*** ****** ****** ******". * ****** an **** ***** ***** ******** **** ** **% ** *** cases ***** * ********* ** ***** ********* ****** ******* *** there ** ***** ********, *** ******* ** **********. ** *** worst **** ********, *** ****** **** ***** *** *** ******* who ****** ***** *** ***/*******.

** *********** ***** ** **** ***** (*** * *** ** reasons): * ************* *** ****'* **** *** ***** ******* ****************. **** ** *** ****** **** *** **** *** ** do * ***** ******* ***** **** ********* *** ******** **** body ******* ** ****** ***** ************ **** *** ******. **'** be *********** ** *** *** *** ******* ******* ** **** study.

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports on Police

Genetec Launches Community Connect Examined on Sep 14, 2017
Genetec has done best in large-scale, enterprise systems and relatively worse in smaller systems such as SMB. Now, Genetec is launching...
Neurala Deep Learning Platform Profile on Aug 31, 2017
Find lost children? If Neurala has its way with its recent partnership with Motorola, that is the aim as shown in their video below: Neurala has...
ShotSpotter IPOs, Facing Low Revenue and Losses on Jun 09, 2017
A rare event for North American security manufacturers has happened. ShotSpotter has IPOed on the NASDAQ, raising $30.8 million. US IPOs,...
Shark Tank Startup Guard Llama Mobile Panic Tested on May 16, 2017
A Shark Tank TV show appearance has attracted big attention for Guard Llama, a security startup touting a 'panic button' paired with mobile app...
Mobile Video Installation Statistics on May 02, 2017
Mobile video systems - those mounted on buses, trains, cars, boats, etc. - are a niche within video surveillance with its own particular...
Duress Codes For Alarms Systems on May 02, 2017
An alarm system can call for help in the event of an attempted break in, but only if it is armed. If an adversary forces an authorized user to...
Burglar Alarm Zoning Guide on Apr 28, 2017
The function of an alarm panel is to gather information from sensors and respond to this information by triggering actions. While it is possible to...
A Marketing Home Run For Knightscope - Man Attacks Robot on Apr 27, 2017
We criticize Knightscope regularly - their lack of revenue, their trying to fool mom 'n pop investors, their associating themselves with a clueless...
Burglar Alarm Strobes Guide on Mar 31, 2017
Strobes provide visual notification of alarm incidents, as sirens are used to give audible notification. Using a strobe gives alarm users and alarm...
Simplisafe Warns Customers About Alarm Fines on Mar 17, 2017
Simplisafe markets themselves as a 'better way' than traditional professional alarm companies. However, in one key way, Simplisafe hides the...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Reseting IP Cameras - 30 Manufacturer Directory on Sep 22, 2017
Every camera has a reset button (well, almost) but it is not always clear what these buttons do, how long they need to be held, what settings they...
80+ OEMs Verified Vulnerable To Hikvision Backdoor on Sep 22, 2017
Over 80 Hikvision OEM partners, including ADI, Interlogix, LTS, and Northern Video, have been verified as having products vulnerable to the...
Genetec Launches Cloud Access Control (Synergis SaaS) on Sep 21, 2017
Genetec's cloud everything expansion continues, with their announcement of Synergis SaaS edition, joining their cloud video offering Stratocast,...
Genetec CEO Warns Against Insider Threats on Sep 21, 2017
With Dahua and Hikvision cybersecurity issues becoming indisputable, a new counter has emerged. Just put them behind a firewall, buy cheap...
New IPVM Calculator V3 Released on Sep 20, 2017
The New IPVM Calculator V3 is released. An entirely new architecture delivers the following benefits: Turbo The calculator is now ~50% faster in...
Automatic Door Operators For Access Tutorial on Sep 20, 2017
Opening and closing doors might sound simple, but it takes a high-tech piece of door hardware to pull it off. Integrating automatic door operators...
'Clowns' Allege Ubiquiti 'Completely Fraudulent' on Sep 20, 2017
A short seller has alleged Ubiquiti is 'completely fraudulent'. Ubiquiti's CEO has responded calling them 'clowns'. Here is the short...
Avigilon 'Blue' Cloud Entry Examined on Sep 19, 2017
Avigilon is moving to the cloud. The company announced their Avigilon Blue platform, designed to be a web-managed surveillance system, utilizing...
HID Buys Mercury Security on Sep 19, 2017
One of the biggest access control deals in years. Mercury Security, the most widely used access hardware OEM, and partner to 20+ manufacturers,...
Hikvision Backdoor Exploit on Sep 18, 2017
Full disclosure to the Hikvision backdoor has been released, allowing easy exploit of vulnerable Hikvision IP cameras. As the researcher, Monte...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact