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Press Release

U.S. Department of Justice Announces Over $23.2 Million in Funding for Body Worn Cameras

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico
Albuquerque Police Department Receives $250,000.00 Grant

ALBUQUERQUE – Attorney General Loretta Lynch today announced that the Justice Department has awarded grants totaling more than $23.2 million to 73 local and tribal agencies in 32 states to expand the use of body-worn cameras and explore their impact.  The investment includes $19.3 million to purchase body-worn cameras, $2 million for training and technical assistance and $1.9 million to examine the impact of their use.  The grants, awarded by the Department’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP), are part of President Obama’s proposal to purchase 50,000 body-worn cameras for law enforcement agencies within three years. 

“This vital pilot program is designed to assist local jurisdictions that are interested in exploring and expanding the use of body-worn cameras in order to enhance transparency, accountability and credibility,” said Attorney General Lynch.  “The impact of body-worn cameras touches on a range of outcomes that build upon efforts to mend the fabric of trust, respect and common purpose that all communities need to thrive.”

The Albuquerque Police Department received a $250,000.00 grant.  “As we support the men and women of APD in their work to protect our community, we are mindful that effective public safety depends not simply on taking criminals off the streets, but on winning – and keeping – the confidence of the people our officers are sworn to serve,” said U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez.  “As the first police department to implement court-ordered reforms that include a body-worn camera program, this money will help APD implement reforms that will enhance officer interaction with the public and build community trust.”

The grants, which require a 50/50 in-kind or cash match, can be used to purchase equipment and require that applicants establish a strong implementation plan and a robust training policy before purchasing cameras.  The long term costs associated with storing this information will be the financial responsibility of each local agency.

In addition to funds to help purchase body-worn cameras and train officers in their use, grants under the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s (BJA’s) Smart Policing Initiative will support police departments in Miami, Milwaukee, and Phoenix as they examine the impact of body-worn cameras on citizen complaints, internal investigations, privacy, community relationships and cost effectiveness.  Each of these three departments will partner with a research institution to gain insight on the merits of deploying body-worn camera programs.

Lynch announced the award today during a White House Champions of Change event co-hosted by the Office of Justice Programs and the Community Oriented Policing Services Office (COPS).  The event honored law enforcement officers and young people who are leading efforts to improve relationships between law enforcement and youth in their communities.BJA has launched a comprehensive online toolkit that consolidates research, promising practices, model policies and other tools that address issues surrounding body-worn cameras, including implementation requirements; image retention; concerns of policy makers, prosecutors, victim and privacy advocates; and community engagement and funding considerations. The toolkit is available at:

OJP’s Bureau of Justice Statistics is collecting data on body-worn camera usage through surveys of law enforcement agencies.  It is also designing data collection forms for future surveys of prosecutors and public defenders to measure how body-worn camera footage is being used by the courts in criminal cases.

For additional information about the BWC Pilot Implementation Program, visit

About the Office of Justice Programs (OJP).  OJP, headed by Assistant Attorney General Karol V. Mason, provides federal leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice and assist victims. OJP has six components: the Bureau -of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Office for Victims of Crime and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking. More information about OJP can be found at

Updated September 21, 2015