DOJ Will Announce a $20 Million Body Police Camera Program in May

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As part of President Obama’s commitment to expand funding and training to law enforcement agencies through community policing initiatives, the Department of Justice through its Office of Justice Programs will announce a $20 million Body-Worn Camera (BWC) Pilot Partnership Program in May to respond to the immediate needs of  law enforcement organizations.

The investment includes a $19 million competitive BWC pilot partnership program for the actual purchase of BWCs, training, and other technical assistance as well as $1 million for the Bureau of Justice Statistics to develop evaluation and survey tools to study best practices regarding the evidentiary impacts of body-worn cameras.

The intent of the program is to assist agencies in developing, implementing, and evaluating a BWC program as one tool in a law enforcement agency’s comprehensive problem-solving approach to enhance officer interactions with the public and build community trust.

Elements of such an approach include:

Implementation of a BWC program developed in a planned and phased
approach.

Collaboration that leverages partnerships with cross-agency criminal justice
stakeholders including prosecutors and advocacy organizations.

Implementation of appropriate privacy policies.

Implementation of operational procedures and tracking mechanisms.

Training of officers, administrators, and associated agencies requiring
access to digital multimedia evidence (DME).

Adoption of practices and deployment of BWC programs appropriately
addressing operational requirements.

This funding requires a 50% in-kind match. Additionally, BJA expects to make up to 50 awards with the BWC Pilot Implementation Program solicitation.

Approximately one-third of the awards will be made to small agencies. While BWC equipment may be purchased under this program, applicants must establish a strong BWC policy framework and requisite training policies before purchasing cameras.

Federal funding will not support data storage. Many BWC service providers do not segregate the cost of the physical BWC and the storage functions.

Source and additional information available at https://www.bja.gov/Publications/BWC_FS.pdf.

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