As one of her first acts as attorney general, Loretta Lynch has announced a pilot program that will devote $20 million to the purchasing and implementation of body cameras for police officers.
The Body-Worn Camera Pilot Partnership Program, which was announced last week, is one of the first legs of President Obama’s $75 million investment to purchase 50,000 body cameras over the next three years.
“Body-worn camera technology is a valuable tool for improving police-citizen relationships,” said Director Denise O’Donnell of the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) in a press release. “BJA is committed to helping law enforcement agencies identify the safest and most effective methods for deploying this technology and addressing factors such as privacy, archiving and legal regulations surrounding its use.”
Of the $20 million allocated for the program, $17 million will go toward the purchasing of the cameras, while the remaining $3 million will be spent on officer training, technical assistance and developing methods to evaluate the data recorded. The funding will be allocated to 50 agencies across the country, who are required to match the amount they receive.
“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,” Lynch said in a press release. “Body-worn cameras hold tremendous promise for enhancing transparency, promoting accountability and advancing public safety for law enforcement officers and the communities they serve.”