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DOJ to provide funding for body cams to rural law enforcement agencies

The Department of Justice created a Body-Worn Camera Tool Kit for resources to support the...
The Department of Justice created a Body-Worn Camera Tool Kit for resources to support the development and implementation of body camera programs.((Source: U.S. Department of Justice))
Published: Jul. 8, 2021 at 4:15 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WDAM) - The United States Department of Justice has announced that the Bureau of Justice Assistance is providing millions of dollars in grant money that will fund body cameras to small, rural and tribal law enforcement agencies.

BJA is releasing $7.65 million in a competitive microgrant that will fund body-worn cameras to any law enforcement department with 50 or fewer full-time, sworn personnel.

The announcement was made Thursday following Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco’s recent memo to the department’s law enforcement units directing them to create and submit for review their plans for BWC policies that require agents to wear and activate BWC recording equipment for purposes of recording their actions during:

  • A pre-planned attempt to serve an arrest warrant or other pre-planned arrest, including the apprehension of fugitives south on state and local warrants
  • The execution of a search or seizure warrant or order

“The Justice Department is committed to providing law enforcement with valuable resources to increase accountability and build trust with the communities they serve,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “Today we encourage all small, rural and Tribal law enforcement agencies to apply for funding for this important tool that will enhance protection for both officers and citizens.”

BJA has selected Justice & Security Strategies Inc. to oversee the grant program through a cooperative agreement.

Funds have to be used to purchase or lease body cameras and may include costs related to programming.

“The grant solicitation today will help law enforcement agencies and their communities improve evidentiary outcomes, and enhance the safety of, and improve interactions between, officers and the public,” said Acting Director Kristen Mahoney of BJA. “Importantly, this grant program will make it easier for small, rural and Tribal law enforcement agencies to apply for funding. It’s an online application that will streamline the grant process for these agencies.”

Agencies interested in BWC funding that do not meet the criteria for small, rural and Tribal should note that the FY 2021 Body-Worn Camera Police and Implementation Program to Support Law Enforcement Agencies grant request is open.

$27.5 million is expected to be the total amount to be awarded under the grant request. The request will close on July 12, 2021.

The Department of Justice created a Body-Worn Camera Tool Kit for resources to support the development and implementation of body-worn camera programs.

For more information and to apply for the grant program, visit here. All applications are due by Aug. 31, 2021.

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