NEW BRIGHTON – Rep. Aaron Bernstine (R-Beaver/Lawrence/Butler) today announced that New Brighton Borough will receive $15,610 in funding from a federal program that offers grants to purchase camera systems, data storage and other costs relating to implementation or expansion of body-worn camera (BWC) systems for law enforcement and corrections institutions in Pennsylvania.
The BWC Policy and Implementation Program to Support Law Enforcement Agencies program supports agencies seeking to establish or expand BWC programs and have specified plans to implement this technology in a manner that maximizes the benefits of BWCs.
“I’m pleased we are able to bring home the funds necessary to create a safer living environment to the district,” said Bernstine. “The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police existence, actions, behavior and the ability of the police to secure and maintain public respect. BWCs have been viewed as one way to address these challenges and improve law enforcement practice more generally while protecting our police officers.”
“BWCs are useful for documenting evidence; officer training; preventing and resolving complaints by members of the public; and strengthening police transparency, performance and accountability,” said Tom Albanese, borough manager for New Brighton. “This technology is a key to ensuring the public outcry for justice and accountability for our police is met.”
Bernstine noted studies have shown that BWCs have resulted in more positive interactions between officers and citizens and have made people feel safer. In addition, reductions in citizen complaints were noted, as were similar reductions in crime. The studies also found that the use of BWCs led to increases in arrests, prosecutions and guilty pleas.
Grant award recipients are required to work with the Bureau of Justice Assistance-funded BWC training and technical assistance (TTA) provider as part of the policy development process. Agencies must demonstrate appropriate policy development and internal law enforcement adoption prior to BWC procurement and implementation. There is a dollar-for-dollar, non-federal cash or in-kind match requirement for grant qualification.
Representative Aaron Bernstine
10th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Rick Leiner
717.260.6437 (office), 717.497.8478 (cell)