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Testing and Evaluating Body Worn Video Technology in the Los Angeles Police Department

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2014, $1,061,300)

This award was competitively made in response to a proposal submitted by the Los Angeles Police Foundation (LAPF) to a National Institute of Justice FY 2014 solicitation, "Optimizing the Use of Video Technology to Improve Criminal Justice Outcomes." LAPF proposes to conduct an evaluation of body worn video (BWV) technology in the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). The proposed study will use social science methods to determine how BWV is used in the field (process evaluation) and determine the impact of BWV on police/citizen behavior and crime (impact evaluation). The study focuses on research questions in five major areas: (1) using BWV, (2) privacy concerns, (3) police legitimacy and changes in police services, (4) crime reduction, and (5) the use of advanced analytics. BWV will be implemented in two LAPD Divisions using 500 cameras and the researchers will conduct a "natural experiment" and a quasi-experiment to determine how they are used in the field. Data on citizen complaints, use of force, and crime will be used. Systematic Social Observations (SSO), surveys and interviews of officers, and interviews of citizens will also be conducted. Video will be reviewed for content and compared with observations in the field to determine "what is missing" from the video. The project will also test ways to harness information from video footage by using advanced video content analytics derived from existing software and mathematical algorithms. Advanced video content analysis will be tested to determine whether and how those analytics can be applied to thousands of hours of video footage. The analyses will include univariate descriptive statistics, factor analysis, and the Generalized Hierarchical Linear Model (GHLM) framework to estimate treatment effects. Interrupted Time Series will be used to determine the effects of BWV on crime. Finally, the project will develop new methods for using video for evaluation, training, and policy purposes. This project will be funded incrementally, with the effort funded in FY14 representing the first phase. ca/ncf

Date Created: September 3, 2014