Today, the Justice Department announced that the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), will release $7.65 Million in a competitive microgrant solicitation. This grant will finance body-worn cameras (BWCs), to any law enforcement agency with 50 or less full-time sworn employees, rural agencies (those located within non-metro or urban counties), and federally recognized Tribal agencies.
By Daniel Webster, dWeb.News
Attorney General Merrick Garland stated that the Justice Department is committed providing law enforcement valuable resources to improve accountability and build trust in communities they serve. “Today, we encourage all small, rural, and Tribal law enforcement agencies in order to apply for funding for this vital tool that will increase protection for citizens and officers.”
Kristen Mahoney, Acting Director of BJA, stated that the grant solicitation is “designed to help law enforcement agencies in their communities increase the quality of evidence, enhance the safety of officers, and improve the interactions between them and the public.” This grant program will allow small, rural, and tribal law enforcement agencies to apply for funding. This online application will make it easier for agencies to apply for funding.
The funds must be used for the purchase or leasing of body-worn cameras. They may also cover expenses related to BWC program execution. You can use the funds to fund pilot BWC programs, expand existing programs, or establish new BWC implementations.
BJA has chosen Justice & Security Strategies Inc. as the administrator of the grant program under a cooperative arrangement. https://www.srtbwc.com has more information and how to apply. All applications must be received by August 31, 2021.
Agencies that are interested in funding body-worn cameras but do not meet the eligibility criteria of small, rural or Tribal as described by the microgrant solicitation need to note that the FY2021 Body-Worn Cam Policy and Implementation Programme to Support Law Enforcement Agencies grant solicitation remains open. The solicitation will close July 12, 2021. This solicitation will award $27.5 million in total.
Today’s announcement is in response to Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco’s recent memo directing the department’s law-enforcement components to create and submit for review their plans to implement BWC policies. These policies require agents to activate and wear BWC recording equipment to record their actions during: (1) an attempt to serve an arrested warrant or other preplanned arrest, such as the arrest of fugitives on state or local warrants; (2) the execution or enforcement of a search warrant or order. In the coming weeks, the Deputy Attorney General will be working with the department’s law-enforcement components to review and finalize their implementation plans.
The Department of Justice created the Body-Worn Cam Tool Kit to provide resources for the development and implementation of camera programs.
The Bureau of Justice Assistance works to improve the criminal justice system in America, making communities safer. BJA’s grants and cooperative agreements, technical assistance, training, and technical assistance, and policy development services, provide the best tools and best practices to state, local, and tribal governments in order to reduce violent and drug-related crimes, support law enforcement, and combat victimization.
BJA is part of the Office of Justice Programs (U.S. Department of Justice. The Office of Justice Programs offers federal leadership, grants and technical assistance to help improve the nation’s ability to prevent and reduce crime and advance racial equality in the administration of justice. For more information on OJP and its components, visit http://www.ojp.gov
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