Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Degree Name



Political Science and Criminal Justice

Faculty Mentor

Alexis Rockwell


Sarah Koon-Magnin, Thomas Shaw


There has been a lot of research on the effectiveness of body-worn cameras in policing including the impacts that body-worn cameras have on police officers, individual citizens, and the community. Results from prior literature show that police body-worn cameras are only sometimes highly effective. This project investigates why police body-worn cameras may not be effective by examining the required activation policies. Data for this project derive from the 2016 Law Enforcement Management Administrative Statistics – Body-Worn Camera Supplement (LEMAS-BWCS) study conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. The main components of these data are the required events officers are to record, according to their policies, which are compared with complaints against officers, officer actions, and financial impact. This illustrates how required events to be recorded can impact agencies and external factors. This research has the potential to impact the policing field by highlighting areas in current body-worn camera policies that can be adjusted to improve effectiveness. Recently, there has been a high demand by many communities for the implementation of body-worn cameras to increase police accountability. For body-worn cameras to increase police accountability, they must be effective.