BPD’s Body Worn Camera Pilot Program Officially Concludes on September 12, 2017

Tuesday, September 12, 2017, is the final day of the BPD’s year-long body worn camera pilot program. Said Commissioner Evans: “I want to thank all the officers who participated in the program and I look forward to hearing from Dr. Braga, Jack McDevitt and their team as they review and examine the interactions captured on video and data collected in an effort to determine the overall effectiveness of the body cameras and whether or not a program of this type is in the best interests of the Boston Police Department and the community we protect and serve.”

During the year-long program, which was launched on September 12, 2016, 100 Boston Police Officers participated and wore body cameras while protecting and serving the citizens of Boston. During that time, according to preliminary numbers which are subject to change, over 4,400 hours, which catalogued over 33,000 separate incidents showing BPD Officers engaging and interacting with community members, were recorded. During said period, officers produced an average of 96 videos per day.

From the outset, the department’s participation in the program hinged on the opportunity to showcase and potentially increase and enhance the department’s commitment to transparency and ability to further strengthen the relationship and level of trust that exists between the men and women of the Boston Police Department and its community members.

Dr. Braga, Jack McDevitt and their team will conduct a preliminary examination and study of an appropriately sized sampling of the program’s over 30,000 video clips. That review should be completed by early November. A more thorough and comprehensive examination, designed to assess the program’s effectiveness while taking into account the activity of the officer, his or her assignment, use of force complaints filed and community feedback will follow at a later time. 

Timetable for preliminary and comprehensive reviews of data/videos is detailed below:

July, August, September:

  • Collect pre-test official data on complaints, arrests, FIO reports, calls for service and other outcome measures.
  • Monitor implementation of body cameras, collect process data on video usage and equipment function.
  • Conduct surveys, focus groups and interviews.
  • Select random sample of pre-test FIO’s to code narratives for lawful policing analysis.

October, November, December:

  • Collect intervention period official data on complaints, arrests, FIO reports, calls for services and other outcome measures.
  • Complete collection of process data from implementation and costs.
  • Complete surveys, focus groups and interviews.
  • Finalize preliminary assessment report.

January, February, March, April:

  • Select random sample of intervention period FIO reports to code narratives for analyses of lawful policing.
  • Finalize all remaining quantitative and qualitative data collection, analyze qualitative data, analyze quantitative data.

May, June:

  • Complete diffusion of treatment analyses, complete cost-benefit analyses, final report writing.