The Ohio Department of Public Safety’s Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS) opened the third application window for its Ohio Body-Worn Camera Grant Program.
The program, which was launched in 2021, assists local law enforcement agencies with costs related to camera equipment, video storage, editing software, public record management, and maintenance.
The latest round of funding will allocate $5 million in grants, to date nearly $10 million has been awarded to more than 200 local agencies as part of the program.
“Body cameras act as an impartial eye on the interactions between law enforcement and the public, so they’re incredibly important for transparency,” said Gov. Mike DeWine. “This program is for any local law enforcement agency that doesn’t already have a body-worn camera program or needs support to enhance and maintain its existing technology.”
The state noted in a press release announcing a prior funding application window that the use of body cameras is not mandated in Ohio. The state estimates that before the launch of the grant program up to two-thirds of all law enforcement agencies in the state have not provided their officers with cameras due to equipment and video storage costs.
OCJS is hosting a webinar for interested law enforcement agencies. The webinar will provide additional information on both application preparation and the review process. Funding for the Ohio Body-Worn Camera Grant Program comes from the Ohio General Assembly through the state’s operating budget.