Obama Administration Announces $19 Million In Grants For Police Body Cams

| by Sean Kelly
Police officer holding body cameraPolice officer holding body camera

Over 70 law enforcement agencies nationwide will reportedly receive almost $20 million in federal grants to help them purchase body cameras and implement their usage.

The announcement was made by the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance on Sept. 21. The $19 million in grants promise by the Obama administration will help departments purchase 21,000 body cameras — less than half of the 55,000 cameras that have been requested by 285 law enforcement agencies, The Huffington Post reports.

In a separate announcement, the DOJ’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services announced that it would be giving out more than $107 million to help almost 200 agencies hire a total of 870 new officers.

“This vital pilot program is designed to assist local jurisdictions that are interested in exploring and expanding the use of body-worn cameras in order to enhance transparency, accountability and credibility,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement.

“The impact of body-worn cameras touches on a range of outcomes that build upon efforts to mend the fabric of trust, respect and common purpose that all communities need to thrive," she added.

Several departments passed over for funding said they plan on putting together sources on the local and state levels to begin expanding programs.

“It's certainly disappointing,” Des Moines Police Department spokesman Sgt. Paul Parizek told US News.

“Now we're just going to have to look at our options," he added. "Do we roll it out in phases? Can we cut somewhere else to supplement this? We definitely don't want to burden the taxpayers anymore, so we're going to have to get creative."

Sources: Huffington Post, US News

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons, Paul Sullivan/Flickr