Safety and accountability were the primary reasons why Pullman police began wearing body cameras last year, but a new study suggests improved communication may be an even bigger benefit.
David Makin, associate professor in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology and a research fellow at the Washington State Institute for Criminal Justice, has been studying the department’s use of the new technology since the idea of equipping patrol officers with cameras was first discussed about two years ago.
By interviewing officers before and after the implementation, he found their opinions shifted from some initial anxiety and opposition to a strongly favorable impression, even given a few technical difficulties in using the equipment.
Moreover, in addition to documenting evidence and interactions with the public, officers can now use the video footage to critique themselves and look for ways to improve their own performance.
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