UNM Anderson School of Management’s Daniel Ravid, assistant professor of management, with colleagues from the Daniels School of Business at Purdue University, have received a grant from the National Science Foundation to study individual, organizational and environmental factors that influence how police officers perceive and react to wearing body cameras while on duty.

Daniel Ravid
Daniel Ravid

The goal of the three-year project is to learn about the circumstances in which body-worn cameras are most likely to promote positive policing practices such as proactivity and community policing. Researchers are particularly interested in exploring how officers’ understanding of the technology, including their attributions for why and how cameras are used in their organizations, affects these positive behavioral outcomes.

Officers from approximately 60 police agencies in 25 states that use body cameras will take part in a survey. The agencies represent the spectrum of very small agencies to large police departments in metropolitan cities. Additionally, community members served by the 60 police agencies will also be surveyed to better understand how each community perceives their local police agency and how this might influence how officers think about body cameras.

Researchers expect the study to inform communities, including Albuquerque, about best practices in the use of police body-worn cameras as well employee monitoring technologies. “We hope our findings help law enforcement agencies, including the Albuquerque Police and Bernalillo County Sheriff Departments, use these technologies as effectively as possible,” said Ravid. “Effective use can lead to improved community relations and increases in positive policing practices.” 

This study will also help researchers learn about factors that influence how people react to being monitored at work. The use of employee monitoring technologies is on the rise, particularly in low wage jobs, such as employee productivity tracking software, GPS and RFID tracking badges. This research will highlight circumstances in which these kinds of technologies are more or less likely to be effective.

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