LOWELL — Acting Superintendent Barry Golner is pleased to announce that the Lowell Police Department has been awarded $429,979 in grant funding to purchase and equip all officers of the Lowell Police Department with body-worn cameras.
The grant funding was provided by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) Fiscal Year 2022 Body-worn Camera Policy and Implementation Program to Support Law Enforcement Agencies.
The funding to equip all officers with body-worn cameras comes in addition to $29,935 in state grant funds that are being used to equip about 30 officers with body-worn cameras for a pilot program. The pilot program will equip 10 officers per shift with a body camera for a year.
Sgt. William Florence has also been assigned to begin a body-worn camera unit within the department, and to research, plan and begin implementing a department-wide program once a contract has been signed with a vendor.
The grant for the department-wide program will fund the purchase of 215 body-worn cameras, hiring a Digital Evidence Specialist civilian and purchasing equipment and cloud based storage to expand the program to all sworn officers after the pilot program is completed.
The City of Lowell has approved $725,000 in the Fiscal Year 2023 Capital Plan to meet the BJA requirement to match funds for the program. Additionally, these capital plan funds will also be used to ensure the continued sustainability of the program.
Lowell Police supervisors have also begun a dialogue with the First Justice at Lowell District Court and will be meeting with the Middlesex District Attorneys Office regarding implementation of the program.
“This major grant award will enable us to equip all officers of the Lowell Police Department with body-worn cameras, and to provide the storage, personnel and equipment to manage footage. The grant funding has been essential to the implementation and rollout of our body-worn camera program, and we are grateful both to the BJA and to the City Council and City Administration for their support,” said Acting Superintendent Golner. “We are excited to take this step to increase transparency and continue earning the confidence of the Lowell Community, and we hope to move forward with these programs in the coming months.”