|Five Berkshire Communities Get Police Body-Camera Grants
|03:09PM / Tuesday, November 29, 2022
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The city is one of five Berkshire communities receiving a total of $436,000 in funding for body-worn cameras through the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security.
The grant program awarded $2,494,752.40 in fiscal 2023 to a total of 32 municipal departments across Massachusetts to implement or expand body-worn camera 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.
Both Berkshire cities received funding, with North Adams being granted $94,492 and Pittsfield, $166,586.73. Pittsfield has been discussing the usage of body cameras for a couple years and the City Council endorsed their use last May. The Police Department was piloting two potential vendors earlier this fall.
The town of Dalton is getting $129,368, Cheshire $26,196.90 and Williamstown $18,941.80.
This year's awards mark the second year that state grant funding has been made available for body-worn camera 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," said Gov. Charlie Baker in a statement. "The investment we're making in these programs today will help create safer communities for years to come."
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 five-year, $20 million investment in the technology across Massachusetts. This year's funding will allow 27 departments to introduce new body-worn camera programs in 2023 and allow five departments to expand existing programs.
"Body-worn cameras are a transformative tool for law enforcement. This technology strengthens transparency and accountability while promoting best practices and improving police-community relations," said Public Safety and Security Secretary Terrence Reidy.