COLUMBUS — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has announced the state will award nearly $4.9 million to local law enforcement agencies across Ohio to help cover costs associated with body camera programs.
A total of 112 law enforcement agencies will receive grant funding as part of the Ohio Body-Worn Camera Grant Program. Of those agencies, 44 will use funding to create new body-worn camera programs and 68 agencies will dedicate funding toward expanding or upgrading existing technology.
The Sidney Police Department will receive $31,654.30, while the New Bremen Police Department will receive $24,125 from the program.
“Body cameras are an essential tool for policing, and the funds we’re awarding today will help agencies purchase around 1,660 new body cameras and associated technology,” said Governor DeWine. “Body cameras are important not only for providing transparency to the public but also for adding an extra layer of protection for our officers.”
Today’s grants represent the second round of funding awarded as part of the Ohio Body-Worn Camera Grant Program. The first round of grants, announced in January, provided funding to help 109 local law enforcement agencies purchase around 1,700 body cameras and related equipment.
The Ohio Body-Worn Camera Grant Program is part of Governor DeWine’s ongoing efforts to help outfit Ohio’s law enforcement agencies with body camera technology. Governor DeWine launched the program in partnership with the Ohio General Assembly in the state’s 2022-2023 operating budget. The grant program totals $10 million over the biennium.
Ohio’s Office of Criminal Justice Services, which is administering the grant program, received $11.4 million worth of grant requests for this round of funding. All qualifying agencies that applied for grants to establish new body-worn camera programs received funding, and the remaining funds went to existing programs to upgrade aging cameras, add storage capacity, or hire record-retention personnel.
The announcement builds on several initiatives already underway as part of Governor DeWine’s commitment to the safety of Ohio’s communities. Since taking office in 2019, Governor DeWine has launched several initiatives to help law enforcement in their work to protect the public and solve crimes, including the creation of the Ohio Narcotics Intelligence Center, Ohio School Safety Center, Ohio Office of Law Enforcement Recruitment, Ohio Office of First Responder Wellness, Ohio Prisoner Extradition Reimbursement Program, Ohio Violent Crime Reduction Grant Program, Ohio Ballistics Testing Initiative, Ohio Crime Lab Efficiency Program, Ohio First Responder Recruitment, Retention, and Resilience Program, Ohio Court Backlog Reduction Program, Community Violence Prevention Grant Program, and the new eWarrant database.