Date of Conferral
In the past several years, police-community relations have received enormous scrutiny based on several high-profile incidents involving the use of deadly force. Politicians, civil societies, and victims' families have called for law enforcement agencies to equip local officers with body-worn cameras to increase transparency and accountability. The purpose of the study was to investigate how law enforcement officers in a Sheriff's office in the Southern United States perceived ease of use and usefulness of body-worn camera technology and to identify if gender and years of service related to police officers' acceptance of body-worn cameras as a component of their regular uniform. The theoretical foundation for this study was based on the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) developed by Davis in 1989. Paper survey using TAM instrument was used to collect data from officers at the training center. A hierarchical multiple regression analysis was conducted to determine which independent variables predicted the frequency of use of body-worn cameras. Analysis of data collected from 88 officers found that their perceptions of the ease of use of body-worn cameras were moderately and positively correlated with their perceptions of the cameras' usefulness and their attitudes toward the camera. The relationship between usefulness and years of service was negative, indicating that as officers' length of service increased, their perceptions of body-worn cameras usefulness decreased. However, officers' attitudes toward using body-worn cameras were a predictor of their reported frequency of use. Findings from the study could contribute to positive social change by providing policymakers with new tools to craft training policies to enhance police-community relations.