The Influence of Body‐Worn Cameras, Minority Threat, and Place on Police Activity

Police practices evolve and are often shaped by technological innovation, such as the adoption of body‐worn cameras (BWCs). While initial research on their impact is evergrowing, researchers have neglected to examine if their use is influenced by neighborhood characteristics. This study examines the influence of a BWC implementation on police activity and enforcement practices across neighborhoods, using minority threat hypothesis and place theory to explain the relationship. We used pre‐ and postimplementation enforcement data to examine the influence of BWCs and community characteristics on the actions taken by Louisville Metro Police Department officers. Ten ordinary least squares models were used to analyze the enforcement changes including self‐initiated activity, total enforcement, felony arrests, low‐level arrests, and low‐level citations. Our findings indicate BWCs implementation was associated with a decrease in low‐level citations; however, self‐initiated activity and felony and low‐level arrests were unaffected. Also, concentrated disadvantage was associated with a decrease in self‐initiated activity. We also examined the moderating effects between BWCs and neighborhood characteristics and found BWCs were correlated with a decrease in low‐level citations. The implications of the findings are discussed.