Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch announced awards totaling more than $20 million to 106 state, city, tribal and municipal law enforcement agencies to establish and enhance law enforcement body-worn camera programs across the U.S.

The awards, funded under the Office of Justice Programs’ Bureau of Justice Assistance’s (BJA) Fiscal Year 2016 Body-Worn Camera Policy and Implementation Program, will help law enforcement organizations implement body-worn camera policies, practices and evaluation methods to make a positive impact on the quality of policing in individual communities.  Under the grant announcement, BJA awarded more than $16 million to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies, as well as a $3 million supplemental award to continue support for body-worn camera training and technical assistance.  An additional $474,000 was awarded earlier this year under the 2016 Small Agency 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,” said Attorney General Lynch.  “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.”

BJA expects award recipients to create programs that will be integrated as part of individual jurisdictions’ holistic problem-solving and community-engagement strategies.

The Body Worn Camera program was launched last year in response to a recommendation by the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing that law enforcement agencies use technology to strengthen relations with communities.  BJA convened a Body-Worn Camera Expert Panel that identified issues and considerations confronting communities considering adoption of body camera technology.  Initial research has shown that law enforcement use of body-worn camera programs improve law enforcement’s interaction with the public.

The awardees include law enforcement agencies located in the following 32 states and Puerto Rico: 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.