Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee Police officer and community members

Milwaukee Police Patch

Site LE Agency
Milwaukee Police Department

Site Researcher
Bryce Peterson, Ph.D. & Daniel Lawrence, Ph.D., Urban Institute

Site Focus
Body-worn cameras

SPI Strategy
Data-driven policing, community engagement

Site Cohort
2015

Project Overview

The city of Milwaukee Police Department (MPD), will utilize SPI funds in partnership with a research partner, Urban Institute, to deploy 150 body worn cameras in an 18-month random control trial (RCT). MPD and Urban will conduct focus groups with line officers and citizens and analyze baseline data on the nature and volume of police-citizen encounters. The goals of the project are to devise an implementation plan for the Body Worn Camera System (BWCS) strategy that addresses the concerns of citizens and line officers; conduct an RCT to determine how the BWCS strategy improves desired outcomes (i.e. reduced citizen complaints and use of force); analyze the degree to which BWCS are cost-beneficial; and generate and disseminate lessons that can inform law enforcement nationwide on methods of camera use and deployment that achieve intended outcomes. The overall goals of the partnership are to implement cameras in a manner that is guided by research evidence and best practice, to test the current assumptions about the benefits of cameras, and to produce operational knowledge on the ideal and reasonable use of these cameras from the perspective of police decision-makers and accountability-minded community members.

Data Highlight