Dear Representative Guest,
I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to advise you of our support for H.R. 3248 the “American Body-worn Camera Act.”
Over the past decade, body-worn cameras have become a standard piece of police equipment. Seven States and numerous localities mandate the use of body-worn cameras for law enforcement officers within their jurisdiction. When body-worn cameras are deployed with proper policies governing their use, policies developed in collaboration with a union or representative labor organization, they can increase trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve, better document events, and improve officer accountability.
However, body-worn cameras and their associated data storage, training, and maintenance costs can be expensive, particularly for rural law enforcement agencies that do not have the same resources as their larger, better-funded counterparts. While there are Federal grant programs that can help reduce these costs, rural agencies often lose out on them because they lack the resources and expertise to navigate the oftentimes complicated federal procurement process.
Your legislation would establish a $40 million grant program, administered by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, that is dedicated solely for body-worn cameras and their associated costs. It allocates a substantial percentage of funding to smaller jurisdictions, ensuring equitable access for law enforcement agencies of all types and sizes. The legislation you have introduced would benefit policing across the country.
On behalf of the more than 364,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, I am proud to offer our support for this legislation. If I can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me or Executive Director Jim Pasco in our Washington office.