FAU joint study shows local residents approve of police body cameras

Residents of Palm Beach and Escambia counties believe the technology improves the behavior of officers and citizens during police stops.


Max Jackson

A police officer talks with a student at a home football game. Max Jackson | Staff Photographer

Benjamin Paley, Contributing Writer

A large majority of local South Florida residents perceive body cameras as devices that can improve police behavior, according to a joint study conducted by Florida Atlantic and the University of West Florida.

The results were taken from a random sampling of residents in Palm Beach and Escambia counties. Eighty-seven percent of those questioned agreed that body cameras would improve police behavior, while seventy percent believed the cameras would improve citizens’ behavior during interactions with law enforcement.   

The study took was conducted in two waves in Palm Beach County. The first wave took place from March 5 to May 5, 2015 while the second wave took place from Jan. 9 to March 15, 2016.

John Ortiz Smykla, a director and professor in FAU’s School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, collaborated on the study with Vaughn J. Crichlow, Ph.D., an assistant professor in FAU’s School of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

“These findings are timely as West Palm Beach police and other police departments across the country seek to increase efficiency and improve officers’ interactions with the public using body-worn cameras,” Crichlow said in the release.

Benjamin Paley is a contributing writer with the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @benpaley92.