Body cameras were supposed to help improve policing. They aren’t living up to the hype.

When discussing ways to address the problem of police violence against black men and women, police body cameras — which are meant to increase accountability and help rebuild community trust — are often touted as a key part of the solution.

But a new study suggests that camera programs alone may not be as impactful as their proponents initially hoped.

The study, conducted by researchers from the Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy at George Mason University and published Monday in the journal Criminology & Public Policy, is one of the largest reviews of academic research on body cameras to date.

And its findings are eye-opening: Researchers found that while body cameras are widely seen as a means of changing officer behavior for the better, in many departments the cameras have not had a consistent or significant effect on officer behavior or citizen opinion of police.

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