Federal Delegation Applauds Grant to Purchase 250 Body Cameras for Providence Police

Sep 27, 2016 Issues: Rhode Island

U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, and Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline, today applauded the Department of Justice’s $375,000 award to the Providence Police Department for the purchase of 250 body cameras. The cameras will be worn by Providence officers to augment the Police Department’s community policing strategy.

“This is a smart investment in providing our police officers an additional resource. I am proud of the work our police officers do and this new funding will enhance their ability to serve and protect the public,” said Reed, a member of the Appropriations Committee, who backed a measure to provide $70 million for programs to improve police-community relations, including the purchase of body-worn cameras for police in a recent Appropriations bill.

“The dedicated officers of the Providence Police Department have long demonstrated that building a climate of mutual respect between law enforcement and city residents pays dividends for protecting the public,” said Whitehouse. “By placing hundreds of body cameras with officers on the street, this federal funding will help strengthen law enforcement in our capital city.”

All four members of the state’s congressional delegation signed a letter in the support of the Providence Police Department’s application in June. The Providence Police Department has conducted pilot trials to test body cameras, and has created an implementation plan for using the cameras based on best practices across the country.

“Building trust and mutual respect between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve is critical to public safety. I know that the Providence Police Department works on cultivating that relationship each day in a number of ways, and these body cameras are another means to increase accountability, safety and transparency for the brave men and women who serve and protect our capital city,” said Langevin. “I applaud the department for going after this funding and for their efforts to effectively work with and for the people of Providence.”

“Our state is safer when there is trust between our police and communities,” said Cicilline. “This funding will allow the Providence Police Department to equip all of its officers with body cameras and help build stronger relationships between our police and community members. I am pleased that the Providence Police Department is taking the lead nationally in applying this technology to its important work. I believe these cameras will make our police more effective and help keep our communities safe.”

The award comes from the Department of Justice’s Body-Worn Camera Policy and Implementation Program, which provides funding to help law enforcement enhance officer interactions with the public and foster community trust.

“Equipping our police officers with body cameras has been a top priority of mine,” said Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza. “This grant will allow us to build off of our successful pilot program and become one of the first police departments in New England to adopt body cameras.”