Interactive Data


Does Your Police Department Use Body or Dashboard Cameras?

By Jeffrey Schmidt

In late 2020, the Wisconsin Department of Justice surveyed police departments and sheriff’s offices around the state in regards to their use of officer body cameras and vehicle dashboard cameras. The visual below documents each department’s response, as well as information the department provided in regards to their budget. The full results of the survey (which can be accessed here) also include information on other items, including: 1) in departments with at least one type of camera policy in place, whether or not enough cameras were available; 2) in departments without any camera policy in place, whether or not the department is interested in having this type of technology available; and 3) any challenges to “full implementation” (i.e., full usage of both body and dashboard cameras).

The survey shows that slightly less than half (48%) of Wisconsin police departments or sheriff’s offices use both body and dashboard cameras, while only 12% use neither. Frequently-cited reasons for not having implemented the technology were device costs, costs related to recording or preserving footage, and training concerns.

Later in 2021, the Wisconsin Policy Forum will be releasing research on questions of police reform as they relate to the city of Milwaukee, including discussions at the state and local level with respect to body cameras.