Dothan Police Department to study the effectiveness of body cameras

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - About one-third of the 18-thousand law enforcement agencies in the u-s are using body cameras, including the Dothan Police Department.

A recent study focused on the effectiveness of the technology.

Just eight months ago the Dothan Police Department issued one hundred and thirty five body cameras to its officers.

And after a recent study funded by the department of justice showing the cameras benefits -- Dothan police sergeant David Schwab wants to see if their stats line up.
"We're trying to pick up tidbits here and there because the jury is still out on whether body cams are working." Said Schwab.

The study looked at the more than 400 police officers in the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department shows that officers equipped with cameras received fewer citizen complaints.

Schwab, "Complaints are down, that’s what IA is telling me, but it’s kind of anecdotal at this point. I want to get my hands on the numbers and be able to tell you"

Dothan's numbers will be available in July when the department hits a year of having the cameras.

"We'll start assessing what happened before and what happened after" said Schwab.

The study also showed that officers wearing body cameras made more arrests, wrote more citations and were involved in fewer use-of-force situations.

Schwab, "The evidence is just better we've had a number of cases cracked open because the body camera gets initial statements and then we catch people in lies later or whatever."

The study was conducted by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’s center for crime and justice policy.

It also found that body-worn cameras can generate considerable cost savings for police by simplifying the complaint resolution process.



 
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