Body Worn Video Steering Group
The Department of Justice recently announced a $20 million pilot program for police body cameras, it’s the first component of President Barack Obama’s $75 million Body Worn Camera Partnership Program, which he announced late last year.
The investment includes $17 million in competitive grants for the purchase of body-worn cameras, $2 million for training and technical assistance and $1 million for the development of evaluation tools to study best practices.
“This body-worn camera pilot program is a vital part of the Justice Department’s comprehensive efforts to equip law enforcement agencies throughout the country with the tools, support, and training they need to tackle the 21st century challenges we face,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement.
“Body-worn cameras hold tremendous promise for enhancing transparency, promoting accountability, and advancing public safety for law enforcement officers and the communities they serve.”
DOJ said that it plans to distribute 50 awards to law-enforcement agencies, and about a third of those will go to smaller police departments. Departments must first develop an implementation plan and a detailed training policy before purchasing cameras with the grants, which will require a 50-50 in-kind or cash match.
The request comes under the legal authority of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets of Act of 1968, which authorizes the office of attorney general a maximum of $20 million to help local governments modernize law enforcement technologies.
The program will be administered by the Bureau of Justice Assistance under the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs, according to a press release.