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Local N.H. police departments can apply for grant money for body cams

Photo of body cam device
Utility/Flickr Creative Commons
Under the terms of the grant, departments must deploy the cameras for at least five years.

New Hampshire police departments are now able to apply for up to $50,000 in grants to purchase body-worn and dashboard cameras through a $1 million program funded through the state budget.

The grants will fund a portion of the price for cameras as well as the necessary software, and the storage of data. Currently, there’s no statewide requirement that says police have to have body cameras, though grant recipients would have to use the technology for at least five years.

“It promotes officer safety, first and foremost,” Matthew Broadhead, senior assistant attorney general, said. “It aids prosecutors by providing valuable videographic evidence of crimes, and it does, it promotes transparency and accountability in policing.”

Some advocates for police reform as well as members of law enforcement who served on a commission created in the wake of the killing of George Floyd highlighted the need for police to wear body cameras. Many smaller towns in New Hampshire, however, have balked at the cost of outfitting officers and police cruisers with the technology.

Manchester and Nashua both spent more than $1 million on body-worn cameras and the associated costs of storing data, while Dover spent around $500,000. Barrington Police, which serves a town of around 10,000 residents, spent around $50,000 to outfit their officers.

Applications from local departments will be accepted through March 15.

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.
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