Since 2011, when the first body worn camera program for police officers in the United States was introduced in Rialto, California, researchers have been interested in how such programs might influence U.S. law enforcement. Studies in the past several years have examined various aspects of the effects of body worn cameras, including their impact on public relations, police morale, and law enforcement budgets. Also of note is the importance of police compliance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and the unique challenges presented by body worn camera records with regard to FOIA. This article seeks to determine the effect of body worn camera programs on law enforcement, focusing on the programs’ effects on Texas law enforcement specifically.

The author consulted the findings of government officials as well as those of professionals within the fields of justice and law enforcement. Each law enforcement agency is unique and must individually weigh the costs and benefits of body worn camera programs. Although several concerns are reported to have arisen within the law enforcement ranks of those affected by the cameras, such as additional supervisor and program costs, for example, the overall results of body worn camera implementation have been positive. In the face of the recently strained relationship between the public and law enforcement, utilizing technological innovations such as body worn cameras could restore a sense of accountability, trust, and peace of mind to both the citizens of the United States and those charged with their protection.



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