Police agencies across the globe are facing a crisis as it pertains to the diminishment of public trust within their communities, stemming from highly-publicized instances where police officers have had to use force on a citizen, which can sometimes be deadly. Because of many different factors such as social media, biased mainstream media outlets, and rapid information sharing, public opinion and trust for the police are at an all-time low, and use of force incidents are commonly questioned and critiqued by those with no police training or law enforcement knowledge.
It is not accurate to state that police agencies and officers cannot use force to do their jobs. It is sometimes a necessary task that needs to be done to effectively subdue a violent, resistant, or combative subject so that an arrest can be made. However, using force improperly can diminish community relations, and can cause problems within the entire criminal justice system.
The caveat to this, is that to totally remove or to not use force could create anarchy and could lead to a less-than-civilized society. Police agencies are actively seeking ways to increase public trust and cooperation, all while still being able to effectively and safely do their jobs.
Because of recent events involving police using force on a subject, which were highly controversial and publicized, experts believed that one of the solutions to increase public trust was the implementation of Body-Worn Camera Systems (BWCs) by police agencies.
This study aims to show that the use of Body-Worn Camera Systems (BWCs), and changing agencies' policies on uses of force can aid law enforcement in gaining trust within their communities by showing when the use of force is necessary, and by punishing those officers who use excessive force. Trust between the community and the police is vital, and not trusting the police can lead to mistrust in the entire judicial system as a whole. (Thibaut, J., & Walker, L. 1975).
Year Manuscript Completed
Senior Project Advisor
Mr. George Barton
Bachelor of Integrated Studies Degree
Field of Study
Propes, William L., "Can Body-worn Cameras and Policy Changes Assist Within Police Agencies?" (2020). Integrated Studies. 274.