Body Worn Camera Policy and Implementation
Goals: BJA is committed to helping law enforcement agencies identify the safest and most effective methods for deploying this technology and addressing factors such as privacy, archiving and legal regulations surrounding its use. BJA stands by to guide agencies through what can be a complex process toward more successful adoption of the technology. Objectives: Promote officer and citizen safety through comprehensive and policy-driven BWC deployments that have been demonstrated to help reduce incidents of use of force, reduce complaints against officers, and mitigate the lodging of false or unfounded complaints by citizens. Promote and strengthen relationships and strategies for the administration of justice within law enforcement agencies, and in coordination with courts, prosecutors, and defenders through innovative leadership and programs Improve justice outcomes by providing sound and reliable digital media evidence for use by prosecutors and courts, as well as for internal law enforcement administrative proceedings.
General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Office of Justice Programs, Department of Justice
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
A - Formula Grants; B - Project Grants; I - Use of Property, Facilities, and Equipment; J - Provision of Specialized Services; K - Advisory Services and Counseling; L - Dissemination of Technical Information; M - Training; N - Investigation of Complaints
Fiscal Year 2017
125 applications were received and 84 BWC awards were issued.Fiscal Year 2018
87 applications were received and 75 BWC awards were issues.Fiscal Year 2019
It is anticipated that 120 applications will be received and approximately 70 awards will be made.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2019, Public Law 116-6, Statute 133,114
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Eligible applicants to be funded to deploy BWC programs are limited to public agencies of state government, units of local government, and federally recognized Indian tribal governments that perform law enforcement functions (as determined by the Secretary of the Interior); or any department, agency, or instrumentality of the foregoing that performs criminal justice functions (including combinations of the preceding, one of which is designated as the primary applicant). Additionally, training and technical assistance services require applicants be national or regional public and private entities, including for-profit (commercial) and nonprofit organizations (including tribal nonprofit or for-profit organizations), faith-based and community organizations, and institutions of higher education (including tribal institutions of higher education) that support initiatives to improve the functioning of the criminal justice system. For-profit organizations must agree to forgo any profit or management fee.
Beneficiaries are the criminal justice agencies involved in a BWC program deployment and the communities involved.
Agencies requesting federal grants or cooperative agreements must demonstrate a collaborative relationship between law enforcement and prosecution. This documentation can be formal, such as memoranda of understanding or informal, such as letters of intent. Additionally, agencies requesting federal grants or cooperative agreements must demonstrate a commitment to periodically reviewing BWC digital footage in an effort to assess and enhance practices that reduce officer risk and enhance officer safety.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Preapplication coordination is required. This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review. To learn if the state has designated an entity to coordinate and review proposed federal financial assistance see list of states at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Intergovernmental_-Review-_SPOC_01_2018_OFFM.pdf.
This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.
Upon approval by the Assistant Attorney General (for science offices, would be the Director of the applicable Office), successful applicants are notified via the Grants Management System. One copy of the grant award must be signed by the authorized official and returned to the Office of Justice Programs.
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 90 to 120 days.
From 90 to 120 days. There are no appeal rights for rejection of a discretionary application. See section 28 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 18.
Yes, a grant can be supplemented or granted a no-cost extension, subject to BJA policy.
How are proposals selected?
See the current fiscal year's solicitation available at the Office of Justice Programs web site (https://ojp.gov/funding/Explore/CurrentFundingOpportunities.htm) and/or https://www.bja.gov/funding.aspx. In summary: 1) Provide data in support of the need for body-worn cameras. 2) Describe the demographics of your jurisdiction. 3) Demonstrate a full understanding of how officer complaints and use-of-force practices can be addressed by BWCs. 4) Demonstrate a need to leverage DME (Digital Multimedia Evidence) to help inform adjudication of cases. 5) Demonstrate a partnership with associated agencies and advocacy groups necessary to effectively utilize DME and promote the program objectives. 6) Identify methods to develop policies and tracking mechanisms that include legal liabilities of FOIA, storage, retention, redaction, and expungement as well as privacy policies addressing BWC issues involving civil rights, domestic violence, juvenile, and other victims' groups.
How may assistance be used?
• Provide funding for criminal justice agencies seeking to establish new or expand existing BWC programs.
• Assist agencies develop appropriate policies, procedures and practices to further successful adoption of BWCs.
• Enhance police and community relations and increase transparency through BWCs.
• Enhance the evidentiary use of BWCs and promote prosecutorial, defense, and judicial policy and practices.
• Provide remote and onsite training and technical assistance (TTA) to criminal justice agencies and the communities they serve in regards to the implementation of sound BWC programs.
• Provide for an annual national conference to promote training and sharing of BWC program development skills.
• Respond to TTA requests from the field and provide appropriate on-site or virtual assistance.
• Maintain and enhance the Body-Worn Camera Toolkit developed by BJA, to include the development of content, tools, templates, and best practices.
• Increase the technical availability of tools that facilitate redaction, release, dissemination, and security to enhance the productive use of BWCs while ensuring privacy, civil, and victims’ rights are protected.
• Increase the availability of tools and analytics that promote officer safety, citizen safety, homeland security, and the efficiency of agency resources such as officer force multiplier effects.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
To assist in fulfilling the Departments responsibilities under the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA), Public Law 103-62, and the GPRA Modernization Act of 2010, Public Law 111–352, recipients must provide data that measures the results of their work.
In accordance with the requirement set forth in 2 CFR 200, Subpart F, grantees must maintain all financial records, supporting documents, statistical records, and all other records pertinent to the award for at least 3 years following the close of the most recent audit.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.
Matching is mandatory. 50%. Agencies deploying BWC programs have a 50% match requirement. TTA services do not have a match requirement.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
New grant. Assistance is drawn down according to a timeline submitted by grantee. The grant period is 36 months. Competitive award and money are released when grantee draws down funds based on an approve timelines. Demonstration of effective policy is a requirement prior to full funding availability. If the agency has not otherwise applied applicable hold conditions, 10 percent of the funds are available at award acceptance. The hold condition for policy development is lifted after a policy review scorecard is submitted and approved or after the chief law enforcement executive provides a signed document attesting to a comprehensive and deliberate BWC policy development. The latter option is applicable to agencies with already established BWC programs that have been internally approved and are already active.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
Bureau of Justice Assistance
810 7th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20531 US
(Project Grants) FY 18$12,464,792.00; FY 19 est $0.00; FY 20 est $22,500,000.00; FY 17$17,984,097.00; FY 16$19,811,203.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Solicitation guidelines are posted on the Office of Justice Programs web site at https://ojp.gov/funding/Explore/CurrentFundingOpportunities.htm. For additional guidance reference the Department of Justice Grants Financial Guide (https://ojp.gov/financialguide/DOJ/index.htm) and Post award Instructions (https://ojp.gov/financialguide/DOJ/PostawardRequirements/index.htm). Applicable administrative requirements and Department of Justice regulations applicable to specific types of grantees can be found in title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations (2 C.F.R.).
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2017
One large law enforcement agency used BWC-PIP funds to deploy cameras as part of their strategy of “partnership policing” to enhance accountability and promote public trust through a collaborative process with stakeholders. BWC implementation was based on integrating the findings from BWC research and best practices into field tested policies and procedures. In addition, the city involved prosecutors in the BWC implementation process to develop policy and enhance the evidentiary process and value of digital media. One small law enforcement agency purchased cameras, developed BWC policy, and then deployed cameras in order to document officer and community encounters. BWCs were deployed to provide accurate accounts of events, which enabled the department to increase transparency, justify use of force, resolve police misconduct allegations and reduce citizen complaints. The grantee was able to produce additional and enhanced evidentiary documentation that proved advantageous for prosecutorial decision-making and more effective case processing.Fiscal Year 2018
FY2018 awardees included law enforcement agencies of all sizes and types, as well as several other criminal justice agencies that deployed cameras, including some state correctional agencies. A number of awardees demonstrated economies of scale and partnerships by including subgrantee agencies. For instance, the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency manages a grant on behalf of 36 subgrantees representing local law enforcement agencies. Many of these are smaller municipal police agencies that would not have had the resource capacity to independently apply for and manage a federal grant. As BWC technologies and program sophistication advance, a growing number of grantees are coming to recognize the value and necessity of end-to-end management, which includes integrating BWC practice into all aspect of policing, as well as integrating digital media evidence (DME) generated with BWCs with DME generated from other sources such as in-dash cameras, CCTV, and cell phone video provided by citizens.Fiscal Year 2019
Law enforcement agencies of all sizes will procure BWCs, develop sound and comprehensive BWC policies, coordinate those polices with emerging state directives and legislation, and track outcomes, including the effect of BWC deployment on use of force, citizen complaints, and officer safety. They will work with prosecutors and other justice and community stakeholder to ensure optimal input on BWC policy development and deployment in their jurisdiction. State Administrating Agencies (SSA) and regional criminal justice consortia agencies will work with multiple sub-recipient agencies to leverage BWC purchases and program development by leveraging economies of scale and other cost saving measures. They will oversee policy development and effective implementation of BWCs in respective jurisdictions.Fiscal Year 2020
Future BWC Policy and Implementation Program funds will be directed to support procurement and implementation of BWCs in the context of evolving technological, legal, and policy developments. A portion of funds will be allocated to support projects that demonstrate effective management and use of digital media evidence to promote improved justice outcomes and to help prosecutors address challenges associated with managing increasing volumes of digital media data resulting from BWCs and other digital technology.