State offering new body-worn camera grant program for police departments

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – A new $20-million grant program will offer help to municipal police departments in Massachusetts looking to purchase body-worn cameras.

The Office of Grants and Research (OGR) within the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security will manage the 5-year program, which is expected to fund 9,000 cameras as well as on-premises servers for secure video storage for municipal police departments. Funding for this program was included as part of the state’s FY22 Capital Budget Plan.

“Body worn cameras provide municipal police departments of every size with a transformative tool to advance public safety, said Public Safety and Security Secretary Thomas Turco. “Beyond evidence collection and accountability, law enforcement leaders can develop new training exercises and best practices guided by the insights the footage provides.” 

Municipal departments can apply for funds to begin a new body-worn camera program or expand an existing program. While only 10% of Massachusetts municipal departments operate a program, a recent poll by the Massachusetts Chief of Police Association indicates that more than 3 of 4 department in both major cities and smaller communities are interested in starting a program.

As part of their grant application, each department will be required to submit a comprehensive deployment plan that must describe a deliberate and phased plan to deploy the technology, as well as specific ways the proposed program will enhance the agency’s mission. The applications became available to municipal departments on June 30 and will remain open until Monday, August 30, 2021.

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