Detroit Police Department Awarded $2.8 Million Grant for More Cops, Body Cameras
The Detroit Police Department scored a huge victory on Monday when it was announced that the city would be receiving $2.8 million in federal grants from the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.
According to the Detroit Free Press, the DPD will add 15 more police officers to the force as a result of the grant, in addition to installing dashboard cameras in all city police cars by the end of the year.
A major portion of the $2.8 million grant is actually a separate $1 million, specifically intended to enable the police department to purchase body cameras for all police officers, which they claim will happen within the next two to three years.
Police body cameras have become a hot topic in America since the 2014 death of Michael Brown at the hands of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.
In the days following the shooting, rumors were running rampant on social media, and the Ferguson Police Department was under intense scrutiny for breeding a culture of systemic racism in their city.
Facebook had a whopping 1.39 billion monthly active users at the end of 2014, and almost every one of them weighed in on one or both of these tragedies. The DPD is hoping to prevent another catastrophe like this by recording all police interactions with the public.
Detroit has also seen its fair share of controversy when it comes to police brutality.
According to CBS News, seven-year-old Aiyana Jones was killed by Detroit police officer Joseph Weekley during a house raid in 2010. The case is still shrouded in mystery and hearsay, and many believe that justice could’ve been served more swiftly if Weekley was wearing a body camera.
It wasn’t immediately clear how many body cameras Detroit’s separate $1 million grant would pay for, but Mayor Mike Duggan said that the grant will “ease the funding strain” as the city moves ahead on its plans to improve their police department.
The grant is also being used to fund a new partnership between police and city schools to attract young students who are interested in having a career in law enforcement.
Department of Justice Officials have not said when the money will be awarded, nor how the $1.8 million will be allocated to hire more officers.