Do Citizen Complaints Encourage Uniformed Police Officers to Carry Micro Tape Recorders?

Kelly Enos, Los Angeles Mission College

ABSTRACT
The purpose of this study was to examine the attitudes, opinions and practices of uniformed police officers as to whether the threat of frivolous citizen complaints motivated them to carry micro tape recorders to surreptitiously record citizen contacts. Little research exists in this area of officers using tape recorders on patrol. This study utilized a survey instrument and informal interviews to measure attitudes and opinions. Data collection is ongoing, howver preliminary findings show officers in several different agencies have been using hidden tape recorders in the field for several years.

Redsearch findings will contribute to creating better practices in law enforcement. Tape recorders carried in the field by officers have the potential of limiting frivolous complaints and instilling confidence in law enforcement. The growing use of recorders can limit the liability city and county governments are exposed to and build trust between law enforcement and the public.

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Updated 05/20/2006