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White House to announce it's buying 50,000 police body cams

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According to The Hill, President Obama is reportedly set to announce a nationwide body camera program on Monday. This pilot project will purchase 50,000 body-worn police cameras at a cost of $20 million and distribute them to law enforcement agencies in a dozen cities. Over the following two years, that figure will balloon to $75 million as the program expands to additional agencies and police departments.

As Attorney General Loretta Lynch explained in a statement

This body-worn camera pilot program is a vital part of the Justice Department's comprehensive efforts to equip law enforcement agencies throughout the country with the tools, support and training they need to tackle the 21st century challenges we face. Body-worn cameras hold tremendous promise for enhancing transparency, promoting accountability and advancing public safety for law enforcement officers and the communities they serve.

As such, this proposed federal project will help augment locally-proposed body-cam programs in cities like Baltimore, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The body cam project is part of a larger, $263 million program announced back in December. That larger effort aims to improve police training, expand community outreach and overhaul the distribution of military-grade equipment and vehicles to local agencies over the next three years (sorry Los Angeles Unified School District, that means no more Bearcats for you).

[image credit: Associated Press]

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