Date of Award

8-2017

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Michael Muffs

Abstract

In 2014, the U.S. District Court ordered the New York City Police Department (NYPD) to test the use of body-worn cameras (BWCs) after finding that their stop, question, and frisk practices violated the rights of some minority New Yorkers. The ruling in Floyd v. City of New York (2013) mandated the recording of future interactions to determine if behavior would be influenced. A total of 54 volunteer officers wore a BWC for a 1-year period and were assigned to six precincts, all selected due to the high frequency of stop, question, and frisk reports prepared by patrol officers. This research examined patrol officer perceptions of the BWC from the lens of the NYPD’s two-officer patrol car. The study revealed unique access to 54 volunteer officers and their non-camera-wearing patrol partners, as they recorded citizen interactions during this pilot period. Further, this study examined the extent officers were open to the adoption of BWCs, providing some of the first-ever evidence for or against claims of increased transparency, accountability and improvements in both officer and citizen behavior during encounters. The respondents’ demographic data were analyzed to determine any relationship with particular viewpoints toward the BWC. The results suggest that patrol officers are in favor of the adoption of a BWC program, and that the BWC had little to no effect on their patrol partnerships. Results also suggest that officers felt comfortable wearing BWCs, and that regardless of their age, gender, years of police experience or years partnering, the existence of the BWC made for better police service in New York City.

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