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Tags body cameras , police issues

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Old 29th September 2016, 12:45 PM   #1
Darat
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Police body cameras 'cut complaints against officers'

Really interesting research into effects of police wearing body cameras:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-37502136

Top line:

Quote:
The Cambridge University study showed complaints by members of the public against officers fell by 93% over 12 months compared with the year before.

...snip...

Dr Ariel, who is based at the Cambridge Institute of Criminology, said: "I cannot think of any [other] single intervention in the history of policing that dramatically changed the way that officers behave, the way that suspects behave, and the way they interact with each other."

...snip...

He said the results indicated both police and the public were adjusting their behaviour.

...snip...
Report can be found here: http://cjb.sagepub.com/content/early....full.pdf+html
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Old 29th September 2016, 02:06 PM   #2
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It makes perfect sense thought. as long as there aren't too many accidental times when they fail to record...
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Old 29th September 2016, 02:22 PM   #3
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...or riots and arson and looting even when the cameras show that the police shooting was justified.
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Old 29th September 2016, 03:10 PM   #4
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"He said the results indicated both police and the public were adjusting their behaviour."

If the public could see the body camera then possibly, but I suspect the real adjustment in behaviour was the police.
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Old 30th September 2016, 04:25 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by p0lka View Post

If the public could see the body camera then possibly, but I suspect the real adjustment in behaviour was the police.
This. The public would presumably adjust their behavior as they interact with cops who KNOW they should toe the line, not that they always will, even with the cameras.

http://myfox8.com/2016/09/26/watch-g...-camera-video/
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Old 30th September 2016, 05:17 PM   #6
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This is not news. I think it came up in the Mike Brown/Ferguson thread.
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Old 30th September 2016, 05:34 PM   #7
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Totally expected...

Adjustment from both sides..
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Old 30th September 2016, 07:57 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Skeptical Greg View Post
Totally expected...

Adjustment from both sides..
Or, people weren't filing as many false complaints as some others thought they were. Under that interpretation, there would be virtually no adjustment from the civilian side and the adjustment is entirely about police officers not acting like scumbags when they know there's going to be a video record of them doing so.
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Old 30th September 2016, 08:00 PM   #9
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Old 1st October 2016, 08:31 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Babbylonian View Post
Or, people weren't filing as many false complaints as some others thought they were. Under that interpretation, there would be virtually no adjustment from the civilian side and the adjustment is entirely about police officers not acting like scumbags when they know there's going to be a video record of them doing so.
My friends in law enforcement have advised me that using body cameras has made it possible to dismiss dozes of fraudulent complaints against the officers in the last three years, in our county. IA and the DA are able to see what's on the camera and use that evidence to identify where the citizen has been not quite truthful in registering the complaint.

It has also had an influence on the cops using less profanity, since they are aware that their supervisors and IA have access to all of that.

Not sure how it's working out in other municipalities.
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Old 1st October 2016, 08:41 AM   #11
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Many years ago (20 or so) I attended a "risk management" seminar for police officers regarding "use of force" issues.
The attorney that gave the seminar recommended that officers carry a small voice-recorder at all times and record EVERY "transaction" with citizens during the shift. This was long before the first body cameras became available.
Even then, with the limited recording facilities available (dash cams and personal audio), it was being shown that numbers of false complaints against officers were being proved false.
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Old 1st October 2016, 08:42 AM   #12
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One further oddity:

Quote:
One of the odd findings from the research was that even among "control" groups, where officers were sent out without cameras attached, complaints plummeted.
Dr Ariel said that was because good practice and changes in policing culture were becoming embedded across each force as it adapted to the use of cameras - a phenomenon he described as "contagious accountability".
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Old 1st October 2016, 08:15 PM   #13
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I've seen instances where a minor problem immediately escalates because the first arriving officer addresses the subject as, "Hey moron!"

I've seen instances where someone acting hostile and confrontational starts calming down when the first arriving officer addresses them as, "Hey Sir!"
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Old 2nd October 2016, 06:47 AM   #14
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It's been frequently shown that the type of officer you'd describe as a "people person" is generally able to approach and speak to people without immediately causing a confrontation.

Of course, you are always going to get a percentage of folks who are hostile, deranged, or whatever, but even these people can often be mollified with a good approach.

On the other hand, we all know there are people who seem to turn every contact into a confrontation and who just seem naturally inclined, by demeanor or personality, to turn people hostile.

One of the big morning news shows did a segment on an LAPD "motor" officer who's a 20-year veteran. He's literally written thousands of citations. No complaints. Not one in 20 years... Guy just has a naturally businesslike and disarming manner.
That's what you need.

Too many people in my profession have this almost-organic need to be "in charge". "I demand respect!" is something you hear a lot. Of course, you can translate "respect" into "fear".

This is reinforced by the police culture in many areas. "Don't show weakness"....That sort of thing.

There are all sorts of training opportunities for this sort of thing; the "verbal judo" course has been around for over 20 years. Currently, we have training courses to help guard against "implicit bias" when talking to people.... The almost-subliminal fear or distrust of certain ethnic groups which often comes across in body language and demeanor.

It's an ongoing struggle.
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Old 2nd October 2016, 06:56 AM   #15
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An officer should never say, "Drop the gun!" It should always be, "Drop the gun, sir."
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Old 2nd October 2016, 02:16 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Bikewer View Post
..Too many people in my profession have this almost-organic need to be "in charge". "I demand respect!" is something you hear a lot. Of course, you can translate "respect" into "fear". This is reinforced by the police culture in many areas. "Don't show weakness"....That sort of thing...
I have a very good friend who is retired after thirty years as a uniformed patrol officer in New York. He got very few complaints over his career and many commendations and we've talked about this. One thing he told me years ago that has always stuck with me. For the most part, he warned me, when a cop orders you to do something it is usually not a good idea to argue with them even when it's pretty plain the cop is in the wrong. He told me, "They train you to never back down. When you order someone to do something you have to make it stick or you lose control of the situation."

NYPD is trying to change 'the culture.' They want officers, at least uniformed patrol officers, to start thinking of themselves as public safety officers not just law enforcers. To think of the public as "our customers" and "we need to be customer-friendly." Every officer has to take annual training courses and from what I understand this has not gone over as badly as you might expect. Many officers do want to change the police/public dynamic.

This is from a brief item in The New Yorker magazine:
Quote:
[NY City police commissioner] Bill Bratton has no illusions that a three-day-a-year class is an antidote for insensitivity or for the biases that afflict some officers in New York and other cities. Still, he noted, most of the complaints that citizens have about the police “are about language: ‘An officer swore at me.’ ‘He treated me disrespectfully.’ ” Bratton went on, “A lot of the training that we’re doing with our officers” is centered “on an officer’s approach to people and treating them respectfully. To see if we can get rid of the F-word. We joke that if we got rid of three, four words from a cop’s vocabulary we’d solve half the problem.” Link

Last edited by newyorkguy; 2nd October 2016 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 2nd October 2016, 03:04 PM   #17
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It works like this:

Member of the public attacks police officer and gets hurt.
MOP says: "I want to lodge a formal complaint"
video is screened for MOP
MOP: "Uh, nevermind."

Saves a fortune in false complaints from muppets.
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Old 2nd October 2016, 03:58 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by novaphile View Post
It works like this:

Member of the public attacks police officer and gets hurt.
MOP says: "I want to lodge a formal complaint"
video is screened for MOP
MOP: "Uh, nevermind."

Saves a fortune in false complaints from muppets.
In some cases, in some the cop isn't sure he/she turned the camera off so he doesn't escalate the situation.
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Old 2nd October 2016, 04:48 PM   #19
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Yeah, it makes you wonder a bit when a certain group of officers have a vastly higher rate of body camera malfunctions than the other officers, particularly when it correlates tightly with the group of officers with the highest number of use of force complaints. Or the ones who filed a lawsuit against the Dept. of Justice plan to fix said problem.
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Old 3rd October 2016, 03:18 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by novaphile View Post
It works like this:

Member of the public attacks police officer and gets hurt.
MOP says: "I want to lodge a formal complaint"
video is screened for MOP
MOP: "Uh, nevermind."

Saves a fortune in false complaints from muppets.
And when the video does not exonerate the cops it will be the result of a convenient camera failure. Win win really.
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Old 3rd October 2016, 09:19 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by newyorkguy View Post
One thing he told me years ago that has always stuck with me. For the most part, he warned me, when a cop orders you to do something it is usually not a good idea to argue with them even when it's pretty plain the cop is in the wrong. He told me, "They train you to never back down. When you order someone to do something you have to make it stick or you lose control of the situation."


And this highlights another aspect of the problem: Why does everything have to be "an order"? Sure, there are times when an order must be issued, and you have to enforce that order, but far too many cops seem to start issuing orders right from the first second, and then they're stuck "looking weak" if someone points out that this is a really ****** way for them to be doing their jobs.
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Old 5th October 2016, 02:52 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
It's quantum! By observing things we changed them, so now we'll never know what they were like when we weren't observing them! Also when I close my eyes the entire universe plunges into darkness.
I never see the end of my finger when its picking my nose, does that mean I have never picked my nose?
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Old 5th October 2016, 03:22 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Bikewer View Post
It's been frequently shown that the type of officer you'd describe as a "people person" is generally able to approach and speak to people without immediately causing a confrontation.

Of course, you are always going to get a percentage of folks who are hostile, deranged, or whatever, but even these people can often be mollified with a good approach.

On the other hand, we all know there are people who seem to turn every contact into a confrontation and who just seem naturally inclined, by demeanor or personality, to turn people hostile.

One of the big morning news shows did a segment on an LAPD "motor" officer who's a 20-year veteran. He's literally written thousands of citations. No complaints. Not one in 20 years... Guy just has a naturally businesslike and disarming manner.
That's what you need.

Too many people in my profession have this almost-organic need to be "in charge". "I demand respect!" is something you hear a lot. Of course, you can translate "respect" into "fear".

This is reinforced by the police culture in many areas. "Don't show weakness"....That sort of thing.

There are all sorts of training opportunities for this sort of thing; the "verbal judo" course has been around for over 20 years. Currently, we have training courses to help guard against "implicit bias" when talking to people.... The almost-subliminal fear or distrust of certain ethnic groups which often comes across in body language and demeanor.

It's an ongoing struggle.
I really hope that this gets more attention as we start to focus more on police procedures as a culture. Best practices need to be shared and implemented to improve any industry.
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Old 5th October 2016, 03:27 PM   #24
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The good thing about body cams is that unlike dash cams they work even in warm weather.
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Old 5th October 2016, 03:28 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
And this highlights another aspect of the problem: Why does everything have to be "an order"? Sure, there are times when an order must be issued, and you have to enforce that order, but far too many cops seem to start issuing orders right from the first second, and then they're stuck "looking weak" if someone points out that this is a really ****** way for them to be doing their jobs.
Was thinking that as well.

Apart from a couple of times when we were being idiots as teenagers, I've never had a cop raise their voice or order me to do anything down here.

Seems a bit power trippy unless there is actually an escalation
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Old 5th October 2016, 03:41 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Bikewer View Post
It's been frequently shown that the type of officer you'd describe as a "people person" is generally able to approach and speak to people without immediately causing a confrontation.
About a decade ago I used to frequently be in an office used by Law Enforcement officers (I was an EMT and we shared the space). On the bulletin board there was a thing showing statistics for how many officers were thought of as being very friendly to the public and how many were thought of being rude or arrogant. It then listed those characteristics from officers who had been killed or badly wounded by suspects.

The "friendly" officers were much more likely to get killed or badly wounded, disproportionate to their overall numbers.

I don't know if that is true or not. I can't reproduce it as it was just a sheet of paper in an office I have not entered in a decade, and it might have been wrong.

Still, I've little doubt that a lot of cops believe that. There is quite a bit of anecdotal information out there being used to make police think they need to be on guard and dominant at all times, that anything else places them in great peril. Anecdotes don't make for firm data, but they can have strong emotional resonance.

It will take a long time, and a lot of numbers and stats to change that.
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Old 5th October 2016, 03:44 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
The good thing about body cams is that unlike dash cams they work even in warm weather.
There are lies, damn lies, and official police department statements.
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Old 5th October 2016, 04:47 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
And this highlights another aspect of the problem: Why does everything have to be "an order"? Sure, there are times when an order must be issued, and you have to enforce that order, but far too many cops seem to start issuing orders right from the first second, and then they're stuck "looking weak" if someone points out that this is a really ****** way for them to be doing their jobs.
You have a very valid point but in the context in which the retired uniformed officer made the comment, he meant "a lawful order," which is a legal term. The order doesn't have to be delivered as a military-style command. It can be low-key, like a friendly request. But essentially it's a request that when delivered by a police officer has the force of law behind it.

As an example, two men were having a noisy altercation on the sidewalk and someone finally called police to report a disturbance. Two pairs of officers arrived (my neighborhood has two-person patrol cars) and they stepped in between the parties to separate them. The more belligerent of the two was then 'asked' by one of the officers to leave the scene. The cop said it in a nice way. Along the lines of, "Okay you've had your say. This is getting out of hand. Do me a favor and take a walk down the block okay? Cause people are complaining about the noise." At first the man complied, but after getting a few steps down the block he came back and seemed angrier and more aggressive then ever. Two of the cops then told him if he didn't leave the scene he would be arrested and when he remained at the scene -- despite police doing what I would describe as "urging him to leave" -- he was in fact arrested. I think the charge was: Failure to comply with a lawful order.
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