EAST BRIDGEWATER — The Baker-Polito Administration has announced nearly $2.5 million in grant funding to increase the number of law enforcement officers outfitted across the Commonwealth with body-worn cameras, and the East Bridgewater Police Department will receive funding as part of the program.
This year’s awards mark the second year that state grant funding has been made available for body-worn camera programs in Massachusetts. The funding, which was announced on Monday, Nov. 28, includes $221,584 for the East Bridgewater Police Department.
In addition to body-worn cameras, the department will also purchase in-car video systems with the grant funding.
Deputy Chief Michael Jenkins worked to research and write the grant application, and the award total was the second most awarded to any police department in the state, behind only the Lawrence Police Department.
“On behalf of the entire department, we thank the Baker-Polito Administration and the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security for this extremely generous grant that will help equip the EBPD with body-worn cameras and in-car cameras,” Chief O’Brien said. “Body-worn cameras increase transparency while also aiding in the collection of evidence and information, enhance training opportunities and improve police-community relations. We are excited for what this program will do and the many ways it will better allow us to serve East Bridgewater.”
The FY23 Body-Worn Cameras (BWC) Grant Program awarded $2,494,752.40 to a total of 32 municipal departments across Massachusetts to implement or expand BWC programs. Every department that applied for this year’s grant program received either full or partial funding through a competitive application process administered by the Office of Grants and Research (OGR), an agency that is part of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS).
In 2021, the Baker-Polito Administration awarded $4 million to help implement or expand local police departments’ body-worn camera programs as part of a 5-year, $20 million investment in the technology across Massachusetts. This year’s BWC grants represent a continuation of that commitment and will allow 27 departments — including East Bridgewater — to introduce new body-worn camera programs in 2023, and five departments to expand existing programs.
“With these grant awards, our administration is expanding resources for local departments to expand the implementation of body-worn cameras which are an important tool to enhance accountability, improve investigations and strengthen relationships between police and the communities they serve,” Gov. Charlie Baker said in a statement. “The investment we’re making in these programs today will help create safer communities for years to come.”
For the complete list of agencies receiving funding as part of the program, click here.