R.I. gets $1.5M federal grant for police body cameras

PROVIDENCE – The state has received a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to help equip police departments with body-worn cameras.

The grant announced Thursday by Attorney General Peter F. Neronha, the Department of Public Safety and the Rhode Island Police Chiefs’ Association will expand funding for the statewide program to equip more than 700 patrol officers across 12 police departments with body cameras in 2022. Departments that will receive such cameras include the state police, Central Falls, Cranston, North Kingstown, Pawtucket, Warwick and Woonsocket, Neronha said.

In a statement, Neronha said body-worn cameras can be a “powerful tool” in the effort to pursue justice.

“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,” Neronha said.

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James Bessette is the PBN special projects editor, and also covers the nonprofit and education sectors. You may reach him at Bessette@PBN.com. You may also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette.