Joel Suss, an Australian psychologist, is An expert in applying what's known as human factors to law enforcement, Suss studies how officers respond physically and psychologically to different environments, such as how well an officer fires a gun while under stress. He wanted to make contacts inside the local police department, so he signed up for Wichita citizen police academy.
While enrolled, he heard about some research being done internally by the Wichita Police Department. Captain Brian White had mounted body-worn cameras on different parts of a police officer and recorded shooting drills. They wanted to figure out the best camera position for the diverse scenarios police officers often encounter.
Intrigued by the department's human factors problem, Suss asked White if they could repeat the experiments, keep a bit more data and expand the scope of the experiment -- the police department had limited the scope of their initial tests and hadn’t kept the records after they finished.
That new study, recently published in the journal "Ergonomics in Design," is the first, to Suss’s knowledge, to approach police body cameras from a design and ergonomics perspective. It’s just one example of the ways researchers are starting to delve into the bigger questions associated with body cameras, from artificial intelligence analysis to perspective bias, Inside Science reports.
“If you could imagine that we've got cameras on the head and we've got cameras on the body, the head swivels first so head-mounted cameras gave a better perspective or captured more of the target than the ones on the body,” explained Suss.