Brief 2 Essay

Submitted By Nick-Balenger
Words: 756
Pages: 4

Rialto Body-Mounted Camera Experiment
The goal of this experiment was to examine the effect of body-mounted cameras on the frequency and type of use of force. The experiment took place over 12 months in Rialto California. Their objective was to compare each sets of data, pertaining primarily to use of force, and try to prove a relationship between wearing a body-mounted camera and a reduction in use of force. They would then create a nomothetic explanation linking the independent variable (body-worn cameras) to the dependent variable (frequency of use of force).
The hypothesis for this experiment is stated as, “Rational-beings including police-officers are unlikely to embrace socially undesirable behavior when videotaped.” This article cited many experiments in which researchers found that most species, especially humans, alter their behavior when they know they are being watched. This experiment/article attempts to prove this observation in relation to police and use of force.
The research design strategy was effective in minimizing error. The experiment took place over 12 months. During this time period members of the RCPD were randomly assigned to wear body-mounted cameras on a daily basis. Half of the active patrol officers were instructed to wear the cameras; this is used as the experiment. The other half did not wear body mounted cameras; this was used as the control. This minimizes the possibility of skewed results by ensuring that a ‘rogue’ or overly aggressive police officer is not constantly part of the control shifts or experimental shifts. The collection of data over a 12 month period gives the experiment huge amounts of data which adds to the validity of the experiment. This also allows the researchers to compare the experimental data to that of previous years.
This experiment is fairly straight forward, meaning there are not many ways to go about testing this hypothesis other than giving the officers cameras and comparing their actions to officers without cameras. A different strategy I would use would be to specifically observe and record five to ten officers and the difference in their behaviors when wearing the cameras. This allows for a more personalized look at how an individual officer responds as opposed to the entire police force. However, an aspect that I would like to see the experiment highlight is the demographic information of the police officers in the experiment. This would show whether a female or an older male officer is less likely to use force than a young male officer. The same goes for race.
This experiment had qualitative and quantitative aspects. The qualitative aspects include, analyzing the recorded footage to record if weapons were used, what types of weapons were used and who initiated the use of force. They found that officers wearing cameras were less likely to use a weapon, used their taser