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

Panasonic Unified Surveillance Strategy Analyzed on Nov 17, 2017
Panasonic is now a "Unified Surveillance" offering, as their ASIS 2017 booth proclaimed: Looking to make a comeback in the security industry,...
WSJ Investigates Hikvision on Nov 13, 2017
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has released a detailed investigation into Hikvision's government ownership and cybersecurity problems, hitting the...
Genetec Citigraf Big Data Platform Analyzed on Oct 26, 2017
A big industry debate is whether VMS software is now a commodity. However, Genetec believes it can charge a substantial premium for higher-end...
Search More Important Than Live Monitoring - Statistics on Oct 18, 2017
Search is overall more important than live monitoring to integrators, according to new IPVM statistics.  The key themes found in integrator...
Exporting Video Surveillance Tutorial on Oct 05, 2017
Exporting video surveillance is important when incidents or crimes occur. However, there are multiple ways to export video which have their pros...
ASIS Show 2017 Final Report on Sep 27, 2017
ASIS is in Dallas for 2017 and this is our final show report (compare to our 2016 ASIS show report). When walking in, one is greeted with Dahua's...
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...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Dahua Hard-Coded Credentials Vulnerability on Nov 20, 2017
A newly discovered Dahua backdoor is described by the researcher discovering it as: not the result of an accidental logic error or poor...
Panasonic Unified Surveillance Strategy Analyzed on Nov 17, 2017
Panasonic is now a "Unified Surveillance" offering, as their ASIS 2017 booth proclaimed: Looking to make a comeback in the security industry,...
Amazon Cloud Cam Is Poor (Tested) on Nov 17, 2017
Retail behemoth Amazon has entered the surveillance market with the Amazon Cloud Cam, the eyes of its just-announced Amazon Key delivery...
Nest Secure Alarm System Tested on Nov 16, 2017
Google's expansion continues, this time into home security with their Nest subsidiary's move into alarm systems. They paid more than a...
Dahua Forbes 'Next Web Crisis' Vulnerability Dispute on Nov 16, 2017
The buffer overflow vulnerability in Dahua products is not in dispute, in fact we covered it when it was first published. What is in dispute is...
Isonas Cofounders Split, Launch Partner/Competitor on Nov 16, 2017
Breaking up is hard to do, especially when door access security is at stake. But that is exactly what has happened at Isonas. Senior employees...
Hikvision China Criticizes The WSJ on Nov 15, 2017
Hikvision, through the Chinese government's authoritative news service, has criticized the WSJ investigation into Hikvision. In this...
PoE UPS Tested (Energy Reconnect) on Nov 15, 2017
In security, backup power is important, but most often requires UPS systems or extra cabling to devices for low voltage power. Now, some have...
Axis Commits To Long-Term Firmware Support on Nov 15, 2017
With the rise of cyber security awareness, and a general increase in hardware reliability, "software warranties" may prove more valuable than...

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