GOSHEN TWP., Ohio (WKBN) – In January, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine awarded grants for police departments to start or improve body camera programs. Now, a new round of funding is available for interested departments.
Goshen Township is one of those departments that received funding and has used body cameras for around a decade. Officers have been wearing new cameras since April.
“What we were using before was a very cheap system. It got us by, helped us out. Now, with these new cameras, we can actually rely on a better camera system in case we do get ourselves in a problem,” said Police Chief John Calko.
Goshen leads a police district that includes Green Township and Beloit, providing security for about 9,000 people. It has 20 cameras. Each of the 10 full-time officers gets one, and then there are 10 extras.
The state provided the Goshen Police District with $12,889 for the cameras.
“Anytime we get grant money from the state to help us out, any type of funding we need, it’s fantastic,” Calko said. “You know, a lot of these departments right now just don’t have the money to spend. You know, we just don’t. We’re running shoe strings.”
Governor DeWine created the Body-Worn Camera Grant Program last year. Ten law enforcement agencies across the Mahoning Valley were among the 109 across the state which shared $4.7 million.
Forty-nine departments will use the money to start body-worn camera programs. The other 60 could expand or upgrade equipment like Goshen.
“We’ve needed them many times before, and they work really well. We’ve had no issues with them,” Calko said.
Some of the local departments eligible for funding are still waiting for their equipment to arrive. Applications for the second round of funding — $5 million — are being accepted now.
Applicants must submit proposals online through the Online Grants Management System by 5 p.m. on September 8.
Grant funds can be used to purchase the following:
- Body-worn cameras (dashboard cameras are excluded) and related hardware and software for officers who regularly interact with the public
- Video storage mechanisms such as servers or cloud service
- Redacting software/service
- Editing/tagging software
- IT costs to support the program
- Consultant fees for camera programming and storage setup
- Maintenance and support fees
- Contract/consultant for programming/installation, training, technical assistance
- Personnel costs
For additional details, visit the Office of Criminal Justice Services’ website.