The U.S. Department of Justice has announced a $20 million pilot program to expand the use of police body cameras. As reported in The Washington Post:
“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.
Lynch said body cameras were a way to benefit the public as well as police officers.
“Body-worn cameras hold tremendous promise for enhancing transparency, promoting accountability, and advancing public safety for law enforcement officers and the communities they serve,” Lynch said.
The new pilot program will not provide federal funding for data storage, but it will help with training and technical assistance for agencies that will use the cameras and have to access the footage. Agencies are required to have their policies in place before they can buy cameras, according to federal authorities, but this new program will help them set up policies governing how the cameras can be used.
As reported on NBC News:
The scheme includes $17 million in competitive grants for cameras, $2 million for training and technical assistance, and $1 million for evaluation.