Police cameras can have civilizing effect, says ASU professor
Charles Katz, the director of the ASU Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety, appeared on Fox 10's morning show to discuss the increased use of body-worn video cameras by police departments. Katz, a professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, conducted the first federally funded study on the impact of such cameras with the Phoenix Police Department.
"We found that complaints against the police decreased by about 30 percent among those that were wearing the cameras," Katz told Fox 10 morning show hosts Syleste Rodriguez and Rick D'Amico.
Cameras can also have a civilizing effect on officers and citizens. The study found people were less likely to flee if they knew they were being videotaped. The project also examined the impact body-worn cameras have on domestic violence cases.
"We found was that officers using body-worn cameras, when they showed up to a scene involving domestic violence – we found that there were some pretty substantial changes with respect to how the case was processed in the court," Katz told Fox 10. "So it was more likely to be charged by the prosecutors, more likely to result in a conviction as well as a fairly substantial sentence compared to those cases that did not have a camera."