Area law enforcement agencies have a chance to tap $5 million in state funds for body-worn cameras

Area law enforcement agencies are in line to access $5 million in a second round of state grant funding to invest in body-worn cameras.

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The Ohio Department of Public Safety’s Office of Criminal Justice Services is accepting applications for the second round of the Ohio Body-Worn Camera Grant Program, which assists local law enforcement agencies with costs related to camera equipment, video storage, public record management personnel and more .

“Law enforcement agencies are increasing using body-worn cameras to serve a multitude of functions, but for some agencies, the price tag is simply far too expensive,” Gov. Mike DeWine said in a prepared statement released Thursday. “Our goal is to help as many local agencies as possible with the costs to improve current body-worn camera technology or launch new programs.”

DeWine created the program in 2021 after working with the Ohio General Assembly to secure funding in the operating budget. In January, he announced the first round of funding, awarding more than $4.7 million to 109 law enforcement agencies.

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Seventeen area agencies that won grants in that first round of funding included sheriff’s offices in Auglaize, Logan, Mercer, Montgomery and Shelby counties, and police departments in Arcanum, Bellefontaine, Centerville, Eaton, Hamilton, Miamisburg, New Lebanon, Oxford, Oxford Twp ., Piqua, Riverside and West Milton.

The program is part of DeWine’s ongoing efforts to assist Ohio’s law enforcement agencies with technology needs. In response to a directive from DeWine, the Ohio State Highway Patrol began outfitting troopers with body-worn cameras in 2021.

Grant funds can be used to purchase the following:

• Body-worn cameras (dashboard cameras excluded), related hardware and software for officers who regularly interact with the public

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