Calif. city police a model for body camera success
Since Feb. 2012, public complaints against officers plunged 88% compared with the previous 12 months. Officers' use of force fell by 60%
By Rory Carroll
RIALTO, Calif. — The occupant was said to be violent, so Officer Carlos Ramirez approached the apartment warily. A dank smell wafted from inside. Ramirez bristled with body armor, radio, gun and Taser, but before knocking on the door he adjusted just one piece of equipment: a tiny camera on his collar.
Over the past year all 70 of [Rialto’s] uniformed officers have been kitted out with the oblong devices, about the size of stubby cigars, and the results have emboldened police forces elsewhere in the US and in the UK to follow suit.
Rialto has also become an example for US forces since a federal judge in New York praised its initiative. Rialto's randomized controlled study has seized attention because it offers scientific — and encouraging — findings: after cameras were introduced in February 2012, public complaints against officers plunged 88% compared with the previous 12 months. Officers' use of force fell by 60%.
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