MADISON, Wis. – For the first time, statewide data on the use of body cameras and dashboard cameras is now available for Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) worked with Wisconsin law enforcement to collect data and found that out of 434 responding agencies, 88% indicated using at least one form of recording device among their officers. 48% of respondents indicated using both dashboard and body-worn cameras.

“This data provides—for the first time—a statewide overview of the use of body cameras and dashboard cameras by law enforcement agencies in Wisconsin. It also provides further clarity about the barriers to implementation,” said Attorney General Kaul. “Thank you to the law enforcement agencies across the state that helped with the collection of this data.”

The data was collected by the DOJ Bureau of Justice Information and Analysis (BJIA) in November 2020 to gain a better understanding of the implementation of body-worn and dashboard cameras in police departments across the state. 434 out of 553 law enforcement agencies responded to the data request. Highlights of the data include:

  • 380 agencies (88% of respondents) indicated using at least one form of recording device among their officers.
    • 210 agencies (48% of respondents) indicated using both dashboard and body-worn cameras.
    • 170 agencies use only one form of device.
  • 208 agencies (76% of agencies that used body cameras) indicated they had as many body cameras as officers so that every officer who uses a body camera would have a dedicated device.
  • 54 agencies indicated that they do not have any form of recording device.
    • 37 agencies (66%) reported being interested in the implementation of devices.
    • When asked about prohibitive factors preventing the use of recording devices, 87% cited cost.
  • 65% of agencies who do not use either form of recording device has an agency operating budget of less than $1 million.
  • The most frequently indicated barriers to full recording device implementation are device cost and the cost of recording/preserving footage.
  • Video footage of both body-worn cameras and dashboard cameras is retained for at least 90 days by most agencies.

Read additional details about the data collected in the BJIA report or see agency-specific responses. View an infographic about the data.

BJIA works to inform criminal justice policy and practice by conducting objective research, analysis, and evaluation of information. Additional data dashboards are also available:

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