DOJ to provide grants from $7M fund for bodycams for small and rural law enforcement

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Erik Fadden, chief of police in Plymouth, Minn., says the killing of Jay Boughton was one of the most ‘tragic, senseless’ things he’s ever witnessed.

The Justice Department (DOJ) announced this week it will provide more than $7 million in funding for body cameras so smaller law enforcement agencies can abide by increasing demands and standards of policing. 

The money will be distributed in microgrants to agencies that employ 50 or fewer full-time sworn personnel, most likely to include rural and Tribal agencies. 

Funds must be used to purchase or lease body cameras for officers to use, the DOJ said in a press release. The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) also has open applications for a 2021 Body-Worn Camera grant, which will fund approved agencies from a $27.5 million fund. 

“The Justice Department is committed to providing law enforcement with valuable resources to increase accountability and build trust with the communities they serve,” Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said. “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.”

The BJA provides support for law enforcement through grants, cooperative agreements, training and technical assistance, and policy development resources at state and local levels.

“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,” BJA Acting Director Kristen Mahoney said. “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.”

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