3 things LEOs and Departments should know about Obama’s body cam initiative
President Barack Obama issued a press release on December 1, 2014 concerning body-worn cameras, militarization of local law enforcement agencies, and a study on police militarization. Funding has not been approved as of this time and here is an overview of the press release from the White House.
- The president announced that he will request funding for body-worn cameras (BWC) for law enforcement and address other issues regarding law enforcement in a yet to be issued Executive Order. The press release indicated that this request was spurred on by the unrest in Ferguson (Mo.) and in it, President Obama stated he wants additional oversight of various programs that issue military surplus to local law enforcement agencies, to prevent the “militarization of law enforcement.” On that subject, the president also wants to begin to study the police militarization in the wake of how various law enforcement agencies in Ferguson responded to the peaceful protesters, not just the aggressive or criminal ones.
- In addition, the president will request a 3 year $263 Million grant funding package to increase the use of BWC and expand local law enforcement training. The body-worn camera program will be modeled after the body armor program requirements. This program will require a 50 percent match from the local departments for the purchase of the cameras. The program would purchase up to 50,000 new body-worn cameras.
- The funding request will be a part of an effort to secure about $70 million funding deal that must be reached within the coming weeks in Congress.
In Other BWC & BMPpro News
The Office of Justice Programs just released a study assessing police officer body-worn cameras which reviews the safety efficacy and outcomes of body-warn cameras. This report could assist local police departments in justifying the purchase of these cameras with other grant funding.