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More than 100 law enforcement agencies in Ohio getting body cameras through grant

Body-worn camera
Posted at 10:54 AM, Jan 25, 2022

COLUMBUS, Ohio — After announcing a body camera grant application process last year, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine's Office announced Tuesday more than 100 law enforcement agencies in the state will be the recipient of funding to purchase cameras for the first time or expand on camera systems already in place.

A total of $4.7 million in grant funding was awarded to 109 agencies. Of those, 49 departments will purchase body camera systems for the first time, while the remainder will expand on current programs. Around 1,700 new cameras will be purchased with grant money, along with the computer software, equipment and storage solutions needed to run and maintain the devices, according to state officials. The grants total around $10 million dollars. The rest of the funding will be paid out in fiscal year 2023.

Currently, body cameras are not mandated in Ohio. State officials said the grant is prioritized for departments that don't have a body camera program yet.

"Body cameras have quickly become a necessary tool for modern policing," DeWine said. "With these grants, more than four dozen law enforcement agencies that have never had body cameras before will be able to invest in this technology to help protect their officers and offer transparency to the public."

RELATED: Gov. DeWine announces grant for police departments to buy body cameras

The Ohio Body-Worn Camera Grant Program was passed by the state general assembly in June. It comes out of Ohio's 2022-2023 operating budget and is aimed at assisting police departments with the costs relating to the camera units, video storage and public record management personnel and other expenses. The Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS) is administering the grant program. The OCJS received $16 million worth of grant requests for this round of funding, officials said. Agencies that applied and qualified for grant money but not selected are expected to be receive funding through future grants at a later date.

"This is just the start of many new ways we'll be helping law enforcement with state-of-the-art tools and innovative programs to fight crime and protect the public," DeWine said.

The Cuyahoga County Metropolitan Housing Authority Police Department was one of the local police agencies to be selected for the grant.

"We want to thank Governor Mike DeWine and the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice for this grant award. We intend to dedicate the funds towards implementing and issuing body worn cameras to all our officers to enhance transparency, accountability and continue building trust in the community we serve," said CMHA Police Chief Andres Gonzalez.

Gonzalez said he expects to have CMHA officers equipped with body cameras by March.

Below is a complete list of departments that were awarded funds for a body-worn camera program:

Body Worn Camera Grant Funding Awards by Wews WebStaff on Scribd

RELATED: Ohio State Highway Patrol announces plan to outfit every trooper in state with body cameras

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