Local police agencies land state funding for body-worn cameras

Local police agencies received hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant money from the state to help launch or maintain body-worn camera programs.

The city of Centerville got the most money locally, $115,0000, to start their program and Gov. Mike Dewine announced that statewide, 109 Ohio law enforcement agencies were awarded $4.7 million.

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Centerville Police spokesman John Davis said the department is still exploring the different brands and options and there is no timeline for when officers will be officially sporting the technology.

“We’ve been looking at it for over a year and talking about what we wanted to do and a lot of it came down to what it would look like with the governor’s funding,” Davis said. “The grant is going to help us immensely.”

He said along with implementing the body cameras, the department is also replacing in-car camera systems and wants to make sure the two are compatible.

Miamisburg Police Department got $52,000, Eaton Police Division got $19,100 and West Milton got $22,600 to start their own body-worn camera program.

Body cameras will be a lasting tool in law enforcement, Miamisburg Police Chief John Sedlak said, and now is the time for his department to acquire them.

“In Miamisburg, we have a great deal of public support and there’s no outcry for video cams, but with that being said, there’s a lot to be said about being as transparent in law enforcement as you possibly can be and this takes us another step towards greater transparency,” Sedlak said.

“It allows us to see how our employees are doing on a day-to-day basis,” Sedlak said. “I am very confident in the professionalism of our employees and these cameras by and large will support their professionalism and how they go about doing their work.”

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He said his department is also still testing brands and weighing their options and a date for when officers will be officially wearing them daily has not been set.

The Governor said that helping local agencies get body camera technology on their officers is a priority.

“Body cameras have quickly become a necessary tool for modern policing,” DeWine said in a statement. “With these grants, more than four dozen law enforcement agencies that have never had body cameras before will be able to invest in this technology to help protect their officers and offer transparency to the public.”

The state money comes from the Ohio Body-Worn Camera Grant Program which was created in the state’s 2022-2023 operating budget passed last year. The program will give out $10 million to local police agencies to implement body-worn cameras with the rest of the money being given out next year.

Also getting grants to maintain their body-worn camera program were the Beavercreek Police Department, Montgomery County Sheriff’s office, New Lebanon Police Department, Piqua Police Department, Riverside Police Department and Xenia Police Division.

Departments getting body-worn camera funding

Beavercreek Police Department $17,950

City of Centerville $115,000

Eaton Police Division $19,100

Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office $76,240

Miamisburg Police Department $52,154.00

New Lebanon PD $10,982

Piqua Police Department $24,750

Riverside Police Department $38,785

West Milton $22,605

Xenia Police Division $26,170

Source: Ohio Governor’s Office

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