BOSTON, MA — Last week, the Baker-Polito Administration awarded more than $4 million in state grant funds to 64 municipalities across the Commonwealth to provide departments with resources to start or expand Body-Worn Camera (BWC) programs. These grants are the first in a five-year, $20 million capital grant program which is expected to deploy 9,000 body-worn cameras across Massachusetts’ cities and towns.
The Wilmington Police Department received a grant in the amount of $49,955.00.
“We are glad to provide communities with these resources for body-worn camera programs, because they improve public safety, strengthen community-police relations, and enhance the values of transparency and accountability,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “This technology offers municipalities a valuabletool in support of municipal police in their efforts to ensure public safety and transparency in their communities”
“The Administration is pleased to partner with local law enforcement agencies to provide the resources and technology needed to improve public safety and nurture strong relationships with the communities they serve,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito.
In June 2021, the Administration announced the availability of $20 million in capital funding over five years to support a body-worn camera grant program, which is managed by the Office of Grants and Research (OGR) within the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security. The grant application process requires each municipal department to submit a comprehensive deployment plan that describes a deliberate and phased plan to deploy the technology, as well as specific ways the proposed program will enhance the agency’s mission.
Currently, 10% of Massachusetts municipal departments operate a body-worn camera program. However, a poll conducted by the Massachusetts Chief of Police Association indicated that 75% of departments in both major cities and smaller communities are interested in starting a program.
“Body-worn camera programs also provide law enforcement agencies with an important tool to improve training and advance best practices. This grant program and the resulting implementation of advanced technology will improve safety for police and communities across the Commonwealth,” said Public Safety and Security Secretary Terrence Reidy