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Primer on Body Worn Camera Technologies

NCJ Number
Date Published
Vivian Hung Esq., Steven Babin M.D., Jacqueline Coberly Ph.D.
This report aggregates and summarizes information on commercial body-worn cameras (BWCs) to aid law enforcement officers and public-safety practitioners in the planning, acquisition, and implementation of BWC technology.
In the wake of problematic encounters between police and community residents, many envision that BWCs have the capability of bringing increased legitimacy and accountability to all parties in cases of questionable behaviors in police-citizen interactions. There are now over 60 different BWCs produced specifically for use by law enforcement officers. BWCs are cameras with a microphone and internal data storage. They allow audio video footage to be stored and analyzed with compatible software. Cameras are typically designed to be located on an officer’s chest or head. This report provides background context for BWC functions, methodology for the market survey that is a companion for this report, results from the market survey, and considerations for implementing BWCs in the field, which includes considerations for integrating BWC into current systems. Data storage , policy for BWC use, and legal implications are discussed. For more technical specifications on each BWC, refer to the companion NIJ BWC Market Survey document (NCJ-250381). 4 tables and 27 references
Date Created: November 27, 2016