The Impact of Surveillance Technology on the Behaviors of Municipal Police Departments

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Citizen complaints about inappropriate use of force indicate negative police-public relations, unresponsive police services, and the unresponsiveness of police management to citizens' concerns. However, the effective delivery of key policing services depends on the performance of individual police officers. Surveillance technology can monitor and control the behavior of officers, ensuring that police officers provide high quality policing services that meet the needs of citizens. Examples of surveillance technology such as in-car cameras and CCTV can be used as an administrative tool to respond to citizen complaints by police chief executives. This research examines the effect of surveillance technology on the ... continued below

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Ulkemen, Sinan December 2009.

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  • Ulkemen, Sinan

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Description

Citizen complaints about inappropriate use of force indicate negative police-public relations, unresponsive police services, and the unresponsiveness of police management to citizens' concerns. However, the effective delivery of key policing services depends on the performance of individual police officers. Surveillance technology can monitor and control the behavior of officers, ensuring that police officers provide high quality policing services that meet the needs of citizens. Examples of surveillance technology such as in-car cameras and CCTV can be used as an administrative tool to respond to citizen complaints by police chief executives. This research examines the effect of surveillance technology on the behavior of municipal police departments that is operationalized as the number of citizen complaints that were filed against municipal police departments. This research also examines the impact of surveillance technology on dismissed and sustained complaints by using 511 large municipal police departments in the U.S. from Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) 2003 dataset. Three different models are developed to evaluate the impact of in-car cameras and CCTV on the citizen complaints and their dispositions. Two ordinary least square regression (OLS) models and a Heckman selection model are used to analyze the data. The Heckman selection model is utilized to correct for selection bias in truncated data for sustained complaints after log transformation. The results suggest that the use of surveillance technology by the police is necessary, but insufficient, in reducing the number of complaints. The finding suggests that videotaped evidence, recorded by surveillance technology, increased the number of convictions of accused officers in municipal police departments. The analysis also suggests that municipal police departments that used CCTV only in 2003 received a higher number of citizen complaints, in comparison to municipal police departments without CCTV, both in 2000 and 2003. No evidence was found to indicate that surveillance technology has a positive impact on the percentage of dismissed complaints.

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  • December 2009

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  • March 17, 2010, 11:40 a.m.

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  • May 6, 2016, 6:52 p.m.

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Ulkemen, Sinan. The Impact of Surveillance Technology on the Behaviors of Municipal Police Departments, dissertation, December 2009; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc12209/: accessed August 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .