The Benefits of Body-Worn Cameras: New Findings from a Randomized Controlled Trial at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Nevada, 2014-2015 (ICPSR 37048)

Version Date: Oct 30, 2018 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Anthony A. Braga, CNA; James R. Coldren, CNA; William H. Sousa, CNA; Denise Rodriguez, CNA; Omer E. (Omer Edan) Alper, CNA

https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR37048.v1

Version V1

These data are part of NACJD's Fast Track Release and are distributed as they were received from the data depositor. The files have been zipped by NACJD for release but not checked or processed except for the removal of direct identifiers. Users should refer to the accompanying readme file for a brief description of the files available with this collection and consult the investigator(s) if further information is needed.

This study reports the findings of a randomized controlled trial (RCT) involving more than 400 police officers and the use of body-worn cameras (BWC) in the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD). Officers were surveyed before and after the trial, and a random sample was interviewed to assess their level of comfort with technology, perceptions of self, civilians, other officers, and the use of BWCs. Information was gathered during ride-alongs with BWC officers and from a review of BWC videos.

The collection includes 2 SPSS data files, 4 Excel data files, and 2 files containing aggregated treatment groups and rank-and-treatment groups, in Stata, Excel, and CSV format:

  • SPSS: officer-survey---pretest.sav (n=422; 30 variables)
  • SPSS: officer-survey---posttest2.sav (n=95; 33 variables)
  • Excel: officer-interviews---form-a.xlsx (n=23; 52 variables)
  • Excel: officer-interviews---form-b.xlsx (n=27; 52 variables)
  • Excel: ride-along-observations.xlsx (n=72; 20 variables)
  • Excel: video-review-data.xlsx (n=53; 21 variables)
  • Stata: hours-and-compensation-rollup-to-treatment-group.dta (n=4; 42 variables)
  • Excel: hours-and-compensation-rollup-to-treatment-group.xls (n=4; 42 variables)
  • CSV: hours-and-compensation-rollup-to-treatment-group.csv (n=4; 42 variables)
  • Stata: hours-and-compensation-rollup-to-rank-and-treatment-group.dta (n=12; 43 variables)
  • Excel: hours-and-compensation-rollup-to-rank-and-treatment-group.xls (n=12; 43 variables)
  • CSV: hours-and-compensation-rollup-to-rank-and-treatment-group.csv (n=12; 43 variables)

Braga, Anthony A., Coldren, James R., Sousa, William H., Rodriguez, Denise, and Alper, Omer E. (Omer Edan). The Benefits of Body-Worn Cameras: New Findings from a Randomized Controlled Trial at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Nevada, 2014-2015. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2018-10-30. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR37048.v1

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United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (2013-IJ-CX-0016)

Police Dpartment Command Area

Access to these data is restricted. Users interested in obtaining these data must complete a Restricted Data Use Agreement, specify the reason for the request, and obtain IRB approval or notice of exemption for their research.

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
2014-02 -- 2015-09
2014-02 -- 2015-09

These data are part of NACJD's Fast Track Release and are distributed as they were received from the data depositor. The files have been zipped by NACJD for release, but not checked or processed except for the removal of direct identifiers. Users should refer to the accompanying readme file for a brief description of the files available with this collection and consult the investigator(s) if further information is needed.

Qualitative focus group data collected for this study is not available as part of the data collection at this time.

This study was undertaken to determine the impact of the body-worn cameras (BWC) on a variety of outcomes, including officer use of force, complaints of officer misconduct, and officer discretionary activities. The study also provided a cost-benefit analysis associated with the use of BWCs.

Approximately 400 officers in the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) took part in the randomized controlled trial (RCT) of the body-worn cameras (BWC), with approximately 200 assigned to treatment and 200 to control groups for a year.

Comparisons on the dependent variables of interest (including use of force incidents, civilian complaints of police misconduct, and measures of proactive police activities such as arrests and citations) between the BWC treatment officers and the control officers were then conducted. The officers were surveyed before and after the trial.

Throughout the research project, a random sample of officers from the treatment group were interviewed to assess level of comfort with technology, perceptions of civilians, self, and of how other officers related to BWCs among other topics.

Information was gathered during ride-alongs with BWC officers, and was also gathered from review of BWC videos.

The study also included a cost-benefit analysis of BWC implementation.

Duty rosters from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) commands provided the sampling frame of approximately 1,100 officers in the patrol division, from which a target sample of 400 was drawn. These 400 were then randomly assigned into treatment and control groups. After the 200 officers in the treatment group received the appropriate training and were issued body-worn cameras (BWCs), officers in both groups then were monitored for one year.

Longitudinal: Cohort / Event-based

Patrol Officers from the Las Vegas (Nevada) Metropolitan Police Department.

Individual
administrative records data, observational data, survey data

officer-survey---pretest.sav (n=422; 30 variables), and officer-survey---posttest2.sav (n=95; 33 variables)

  • officer demographics
  • level of experience/comfort with technology
  • police legitimacy and procedural justice
  • discretion and police ethics

officer-interviews---form-a.xlsx (n=23; 52 variables), and officer-interviews---form-b.xlsx (n=27; 52 variables)

  • comfort with BWC technology
  • officer perceptions of citizens
  • officer perceptions of self
  • officer perceptions of other officers
  • positives and negatives

ride-along-observations.xlx (n=72; 20 variables)

  • event types
  • BWC activation/deactivation
  • citizen reaction/other officer reaction
  • officer behavior

video-review-data.xlsx (n=53; 21 variables)

  • event type and attributes
  • subject demeanor
  • BWC recording quality

hours-and-compensation-rollup-to-treatment-group: all variables aggregated by treatment in Stata, Excel, and CSV formats (n=4; 42 variables)

  • treatment vs. control group counts
  • pre- and post-implementation observation periods
  • officer hours: regular, vacation, sick, overtime, in court, suspended, etc.
  • officer compensation: pay, cost of benefits such as medical and retirement

hours-and-compensation-rollup-to-rank-and-treatment-group: all variables aggregated by rank and by treatment in Stata, Excel, and CSV formats (n=12; 43 variables)

  • treatment vs. control group counts
  • pre- and post-implementation observation periods
  • officer hours: regular, vacation, sick, overtime, in court, suspended, etc.
  • officer compensation: pay, cost of benefits such as medical and retirement

officer-survey---pretest.sav: 100 percent

officer-survey---posttest2.sav: 23 percent (95 responses with 58 from treatment group, 37 from control group).

Several Likert-type scales were used.

2018-10-30

Notes

  • These data are part of NACJD's Fast Track Release and are distributed as they were received from the data depositor. The files have been zipped by NACJD for release, but not checked or processed except for the removal of direct identifiers. Users should refer to the accompanying readme file for a brief description of the files available with this collection and consult the investigator(s) if further information is needed.

  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions. Restricted data files are not available for direct download from the website; click on the Restricted Data button to learn more.

  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented.
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This dataset is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD), the criminal justice archive within ICPSR. NACJD is primarily sponsored by three agencies within the U.S. Department of Justice: the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.