Statewide body-cam program awarded $1.5 million grant

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File: Rhode Island State Police

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) –  The Office of the Attorney General (RIAG), Department of Public Safety (DPS), and the Rhode Island Police Chiefs’ Association (RIPCA), have announced that the program to supply police-departments with body-worn cameras has been awarded a $1.5 million grant by The U.S. Department of Justice.

The award, announced by  U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, and Congressman Jim Langevin and David N. Cicilline will improve funding for both state and municipal officers.

“The pursuit of justice is a quest for truth, and police-worn body cameras can be a powerful tool in in that effort,” said Attorney General Peter F. Neronha. “In addition to aiding law enforcement in gathering critical evidence, body-worn cameras promote transparency, further helping build trust and confidence between law enforcement and members of the public. I am incredibly grateful to our Congressional delegation for their work in securing this significant funding for a program that will benefit all Rhode Islanders.”

The beginning of the program was in July, when the RIAG, DPS, and RIPCA were tasked to implement the program, adding rules and regulations, to deploy them in time for 2022. The application of the program was sought by the U.S. Department of Justice, with a focus on urban, high-poverty areas.

“Body worn cameras are an essential piece of equipment for officer safety and accountability. This grant brings the Rhode Island State Police and many of our municipal law enforcement partners one step closer to being fully equipped,” said Colonel James M. Manni, Superintendent of the Rhode Island Stat Police and Director of the Department of Public Safety. “I especially want to thank our Congressional delegation for their support and the team at DPS that worked to secure this funding.”

In August, the team began the reveal, establishing policies for the use and operation of these cameras. Members of the public were allowed to give their input. After receiving input, the Attorney General and Director for the Department of Public Safety started drafting rules, continuing to listen to public input.

“I greatly appreciate the work of our public safety partners and the Congressional delegation for their assistance in securing this funding,” said Narragansett Police Chief Sean Corrigan, incoming President of the RI Police Chiefs’ Association. “I know the combination of our officers’ high professional standards and the openness this technology allows will only strengthen the great relationship we have with the community. This is one more important step in fulfilling every promise of the Twenty for 2020 Campaign of the Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association.”

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