October 13, 2015—A 12-month University of South Florida study monitoring Orlando Police Department officers found body-worn cameras (BWC’s) not only significantly reduce escalations and use of force, but also the number of complaints filed by citizens.
Randomly chosen, 46 of 89 officers were given BWC’s while the remaining 43 carried on without. Compared to statistics for the year before the study, there was a 53 percent drop in police use of force, from 3.5 incidents to 1.6, and a 65 percent reduction in external complaints.
From the St. Peter’s Blog:
“In late September, the Orlando Police Department was awarded $497,480 by the U.S. Department of Justice for a ‘Body-Worn Camera Implementation Program’ that will run from Oct. 1, 2015, through Sept. 30, 2017. ‘We anticipate buying 450 body cameras,’ said Chief John Mina.”
Calculating for software and maintenance, the body cameras will cost OPD over $1 million minus the Justice Department grant. In total, President Obama plans to allocate $75 million to get BWC’s into local police departments, often with strings attached.
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