Study: Body cameras improve relationship between Phoenix-area police, community

TEMPE – Police wearing body cameras can promote a good relationship between the community and police, including members of the public saying police officers treated them with respect, early results of an ongoing Arizona State University study show.

“Nearly 90 percent of the citizens strongly agreed the officers treated them with respect, treated them fairly, they were honest, they listened, they cared, and they acted professionally,” said Sgt. Josie Montenegro, a spokeswoman for Tempe police.

A research team found most of the 400 people surveyed rated their officer encounters as high in procedural justice, meaning how they were treated, said ASU professor Michael White, who is leading the two-year study. A foundation financed the nearly $500,000 study, which also funded the team to study body-cameras in Spokane, Wash.

“I’m curious to see in Tempe if there’s a temporary effect on complaints or if that reduction’s going to persist,” White said. The research team determined that the number of citizen complaints significantly dropped since the body-cameras were rolled out in 2015, White said, who is still analyzing the results for specific comparisons. )

Respondents were either victims, witnesses or alleged suspects of crimes that had interactions with Tempe police through 911 calls. They were asked as many as 53 questions over the phone and the research team did not know the nature of the contact with police, White said…

 

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