Recent UW Law School Faculty Scholarship – Police Body-Worn Cameras

Here is the latest faculty scholarship appearing in the University of Wisconsin Law School Legal Studies Research Papers series found on SSRN.

Madison, Wisconsin, is in the midst of a bold new experiment in improving police/community relations. After four years of study, an ad hoc committee recommended 177 reforms designed to improve policing and community trust in police. Central to those recommendations was creation of new civilian oversight mechanisms, including a new Office of an Independent Police Monitor and a new Civilian Police Oversight Board. This report summarizes the findings and recommendations of a follow-up civilian committee, which examined whether body-worn cameras (BWCs) should be a part of that experiment in policing. After canvassing the social science research and receiving extensive community input, the Committee identified potential benefits, but also numerous potential unintended negative consequences of BWCs. In the end, the Committee recommended a pilot project to try BWCs in this city, but only under a very tightly controlled set of circumstances and policies designed to minimize the potential harmful effects of BWCs. This Report sets forth the findings, recommendations, and conditions upon which BWCs should be tried.

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