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State Police awarded grant to help fund body camera pilot program

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Body cameras charging. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa.–A body camera pilot program is in the works for the Pennsylvania State Police.

Gov. Tom Wolf announced today that the PSP has been awarded a $52,000 federal grant to help fund the program, allowing for the purchase of approximately 30 cameras.

The pilot program’s goal is to create a way for the department to develop and implement policy and training programs related to body-worn cameras, according to the governor’s press office.

“Body-worn cameras aren’t new to law enforcement,” Gov. Wolf said in the release. “In Pennsylvania, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh Police have begun to use them, as well as several smaller municipal police departments. I’m pleased that the Pennsylvania State Police is set to begin a pilot program because we know that body-worn cameras strengthen police accountability, prevent confrontational situations, and improve evidence documentation.”

The recent allowance and bipartisan support of Senate Bill 560, which removes burdens under state law that limited the scope and use of body cameras by law enforcement, offers a positive outlook moving forward.

“This grant and Senate Bill 560 are important first steps toward the statewide rollout of body-worn camera technology for troopers across Pennsylvania,” State Police Commissioner Tyree C. Blocker stated in the release. “The department is committed to effective use of technology that will benefit not only troopers, but also the people we serve.”