U.S. Justice Department Invests $20 Mil. For Police Body Cameras - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

U.S. Justice Department Invests $20 Mil. For Police Body Cameras

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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Justice Department is investing $20 million to have thousands more local law enforcement officers equipped with body cameras and trained on how to properly use them.

The Body-Worn Camera (BWC) Pilot Partnership Program is part of President Barack Obama's proposal to invest $75 million over three years to purchase 50,000 body cameras for local law enforcement agencies. The DOJ's investment includes $17 million in competitive grants to purchase the cameras, $2 million for training and technical assistance and $1 million for developing evaluation tools to study best practices.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Friday the pilot program is a vital step in helping law enforcement agents tackle the 21st century challenges this country faces.

“Body-worn cameras hold tremendous promise for enhancing transparency, promoting accountability, and advancing public safety for law enforcement officers and the communities they serve,” she said.

According to the Justice Department, 50 awards will be provided to law enforcement agencies, with about one third of the grants going toward smaller law enforcement agencies. Applicants must establish both a strong plan for body cameras' implementation and an extensive training policy before purchasing cameras. The grants require a 50/50 in-kind or cash match.

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