Chief Marc Haslam is pleased to announce that the Swansea Police Department has been awarded $69,816 in state grant funds allocated by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security’s Office of Grants and Research (OGR) Body-Worn Camera (BWC) grant program.
With the use of grant funding, the Swansea Police Department will be able to equip every officer in the department, including reserve officers, with a body-worn camera. The grant also will fund an on-premises server for secure video storage for the department.
“Our department takes pride in strengthening community trust and with these body-worn cameras we will be able to increase transparency and accountability between our residents and department,” said Chief Haslam.
The Body-Worn Camera (BWC) Grant Program will equip municipal police departments across the Commonwealth with body-worn cameras. Approximately $20 million in funding will be used to purchase 9,000 cameras during the next five years.
The Baker-Polito Administration included funding for this program as part of its FY22 Capital Budget Plan. 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.
President Barack Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing placed a priority on body camera research and camera programs. The Task Force’s final report indicated that officers wearing body cameras had “87.5 percent fewer incidents of use of force and 59 percent fewer complaints than the officers not wearing the cameras.”
According to a recent poll by the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, only 10% of Massachusetts municipal departments operate a body-worn camera program. However, the same poll indicated that 75% of departments in major cities and smaller communities are interested in starting a program.