Digital Transformation in Police Work: A Sociomaterial Perspective on Police Body Worn Cameras (BWC)

Date
2017-01-04
Authors
Sesay, Abdul
Ramirez, Ronald
Oh, On-Ook
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The need to augment human capabilities through computer-based technologies, and a belief in the “objectivity” of data has contributed to the popularity of wearables. Such is the case with BWCs and their proliferation in police organizations. Unfortunately, BWCs have not been studied from an IS perspective, using specific or complementary theories applied in IS. We address this gap with a case study of a mid-sized police department, using a sociomaterial lens. We find that BWCs have triggered significant unanticipated changes in police practice. The impacts of these changes are not uniformly distributed. Rank-and-file patrol officers carry the burden upfront, while evidence technicians are burdened on the backend. We contribute by providing an actual account of the changes and impacts of BWCs in policing; providing initial evidence of how BWCs meet policing goals; and demonstrating the applicability of sociomateriality in explicating wearable technologies in general, and BWCs in particular.
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Body-Worn Camera, Digital Transformation, Policing, Sociomateriality, Wearables
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10 pages
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Proceedings of the 50th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
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