Data released on use of body-worn cams, dashcams by law enforcement

Sheboygan body cams

Wisconsin released for the first time on Thursday, Jan. 21 statewide data on the use of body cameras and dashboard cameras.

A news release says the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) worked with Wisconsin law enforcement to collect data and found that out of 434 responding agencies, 88% indicated using at least one form of recording device among their officers. 48% of respondents indicated using both dashboard and body-worn cameras.

Sheboygan body cameras

The data was collected by the DOJ Bureau of Justice Information and Analysis (BJIA) in November 2020 to gain a better understanding of the implementation of body-worn and dashboard cameras in police departments across the state. 434 out of 553 law enforcement agencies responded to the data request.

Highlights of the data include:

  • 380 agencies (88% of respondents) indicated using at least one form of recording device among their officers. 210 agencies (48% of respondents) indicated using both dashboard and body-worn cameras. 170 agencies use only one form of device.
  • 210 agencies (48% of respondents) indicated using both dashboard and body-worn cameras.
  • 170 agencies use only one form of device.
  • 208 agencies (76% of agencies that used body cameras) indicated they had as many body cameras as officers so that every officer who uses a body camera would have a dedicated device.
  • 54 agencies indicated that they do not have any form of recording device. 37 agencies (66%) reported being interested in the implementation of devices. When asked about prohibitive factors preventing the use of recording devices, 87% cited cost.
  • 37 agencies (66%) reported being interested in the implementation of devices.
  • When asked about prohibitive factors preventing the use of recording devices, 87% cited cost.
  • 65% of agencies who do not use either form of recording device has an agency operating budget of less than $1 million.
  • The most frequently indicated barriers to full recording device implementation are device cost and the cost of recording/preserving footage.
  • Video footage of both body-worn cameras and dashboard cameras is retained for at least 90 days by most agencies.

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