The Department of Justice announced Monday it will award $20 million to law enforcement agencies to purchase body cameras.
Some 106 state, city, tribal, and municipal law enforcement agencies will receive the awards to "establish and enhance" their efforts to purchase body cameras for officers, the DOJ said in a statement. The awards are funded through the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s (BJA) Fiscal Year 2016 Body-Worn Camera Policy and Implementation Program.
"As we strive to support local leaders and law enforcement officials in their work to protect their communities, we are mindful that effective public safety requires more than arrests and prosecutions," Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in the statement.
"It also requires winning – and keeping – the trust and confidence of the citizens we serve. These grants will help more than 100 law enforcement agencies promote transparency and ensure accountability, clearing the way for the closer cooperation between residents and officers that is so vital to public safety," she continued.
The awards will go to law enforcement agencies in 32 states and Puerto Rico, including Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, California, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Tribal awardees include Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians and the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, according to the DOJ.
When the body camera program was first announced by the Justice Department in 2015, it was met with complaints from critics who said that President Barack Obama had not taken enough action to respond to issues with law enforcement, according to CNN.
The Chicago Police Department announced earlier this month that it plans on spending $8 million to purchase body cameras for more of its officers, according to the Chicago Tribune. Police superintendent Eddie Johnson told the newspaper that all of its patrol officers will have body cameras by the end of 2018.
"Next year they'll get them, we haven't identified the actual districts yet," Chicago Police department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a news conference earlier this month, the newspaper noted.
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