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 For Immediate Release — Wednesday, September 13, 2000


41 States to receive funding to purchase 2,900 video cameras to increase officer safety and promote integrity

COLLEGE PARK, MD. - The U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) today announced $12 million in grants for the purchase of 2,900 in-car video cameras. These grants will go to 41 state police agencies and will help promote officer safety and integrity.

"This national grant program strives to increase officer safety and help agencies reduce racial profiling," said Attorney General Janet Reno. "The federal, state and local partnership through the COPS office gives us the opportunity to address a variety of concerns for local law enforcement and the agencies they serve."

"These cameras can serve many purposes: as deterrent to assaults on officers, as a training device, as evidence in trials, and for promoting police integrity," said COPS Director Thomas C. Frazier. "This first-of-its-kind grant will help make our nation's state police agencies better equipped for serving the public."

These are the first grants made under the In-Car Video Camera Program. The program funded state police agencies which have the responsibility of patrolling interstate and other major highways. These grants were announced at the Maryland State Police Barracks in College Park, Maryland. The Maryland State Police will receive $400,000 to purchase 93 in-car video cameras.

The COPS program is the Administration's initiative to add 100,000 officers to the beat and advance community policing nationwide. Community policing is a crime fighting strategy that encourages law enforcement to work in partnership with the community to identify and reduce crime problems.

To date, the COPS program has funded more than 109,000 officers. President Clinton has proposed continuing the COPS program for an additional five years to add up to 50,000 more officers to local communities.

In this award announcement, 41 states received funding including: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Wyoming.