DeWine: $5M grant funding available for police body cameras


COLUMBUS, Ohio (WANE) – On Tuesday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced that $5 million in grant funding is now available to help local law enforcement agencies invest in body camera equipment and pay for associated expenses. 

Gov. DeWine prioritized creating the new Ohio Body-Worn Camera Grant Program in the state’s 2022-2023 operating budget which was passed by the Ohio General Assembly in June. The program will assist local law enforcement agencies with costs related to camera equipment, video storage, public record management personnel, and more.

“Body cameras are beneficial for peace officers and the public because they act as impartial eyes on events as they transpire, but most law enforcement agencies in Ohio don’t have them because they can’t afford them,” Gov. DeWine said. “One of my top priorities has always been ensuring that our law enforcement officers have the tools they need to best serve the public, and this new grant program will help eliminate the cost barriers associated with body-worn cameras and will contribute to a safer Ohio.” 

The Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS), which administers the new grant program, began accepting applications Tuesday. Applications will be accepted until Oct. 8 at 5 p.m.

OCJS said body cameras are not mandated in Ohio. It is estimated that up to two-thirds of all law enforcement agencies in the state, specifically Ohio’s smaller agencies, do not outfit their officers with cameras due to equipment and video storage costs.

The Ohio Body-Worn Camera Grant Program will prioritize funding for agencies that have not yet established a body-worn camera program, OCJS said. However, agencies with existing programs are also encouraged to apply. Funding awards will be flexible to meet agencies’ individual needs and is contingent on adherence to the Ohio Community-Police Collaborative’s body-worn camera standard. OCJS said agencies that are not certified in the standard will have a pre-award condition requiring certification prior to receiving the grant funds.

Law enforcement agencies applying for the grant must also be in compliance with crime statistics reporting, using the Ohio Incident-Based Reporting System (OIBRS) or the FBI’s NIBRS Collection Application (NCA), per Ohio Revised Code Section 5502.62(C)(6)

A total of $10 million has been allotted to the Ohio Body-Worn Camera Grant Program as part of the 2022-2023 operating budget. OCJS said the remainder of the grant funds will be available next year.

To apply, click here.

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