Oak Park Gets Grant Funding for Police Body Cams
(City of Oak Park, March 21, 2022)
Oak Park, MI- The City of Oak Park will receive $560,000 in federal funding for body worn/in-car cameras through funds Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence earmarked as part of the 2022 appropriations bill.
This is a welcomed announcement for the City, as it helps ensure continued safety for the Oak Park community and the City’s Public Safety Officers. Additionally, the allocation of these federal funds will primarily fund the project.
“We are thankful and fortunate to have a great partner and advocate in Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence,” said City Manager Erik Tungate. “She consistently advocates for the needs of the Oak Park community.”
Currently, Oak Park’s Public Safety does not have body cameras, but the need for them has long been recognized.
“The Oak Park Department of Public Safety is extremely grateful and excited to have been awarded funding by the United States Congress for the department’s Body Worn Camera Project,” said Public Safety Director Steve Cooper. “Having this tool will greatly assist the department in creating another level of transparency and trust with the citizens we so proudly serve.”
The Oak Park Department of Public Safety does have in-car cameras, which are helpful during traffic stops. However, the in-car cameras cannot go inside locations with the officers.
“With the body cams, they are very mobile and we can take them pretty much anywhere,” said Cooper. “We’re very proud of the work and the service we provide here at the Oak Park Public Safety Department. We have very strong support from our community, and we have for decades. This is something we want to continue and body cams are an excellent way to continue to instill that trust in the community and in our officers.”
Currently, the Oak Park Department of Public Safety has 53 sworn officers.
The 2022 appropriations bill was approved by Congress on March 10 and signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 15. Congresswoman Lawrence serves in the House of Representatives and tirelessly worked to secure funding for the communities she represents.
“As the Vice Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, I’m proud to have voted for this funding bill that reflects the values and priorities of Michiganders,” Congresswoman Lawrence said in a press release. “I’m especially excited that this bill includes all 10 Community Project Funding Requests for the district.”
Congresswoman Lawrence’s Community Project Funding requests were part of a change in the budgeting process that allowed members of Congress to request specific items for local projects. This is the first time such requests were taken and approved in over a decade.