WILMINGTON, Del. – Today, U.S. Sen. Chris
Coons, Sen. Tom Carper, Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, and Attorney General Kathy
Jennings applauded a $630,000 federal grant to fund the Wilmington Police
Department's body-worn camera program.
Earlier this year, members of the congressional delegation wrote letters to the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance, signaling their support of WPD's application for the Fiscal Year 2020 Body-Worn Camera Policy and Implementation Program to Support Law Enforcement Agencies.
"The Department of Justice's $630,000 award to help fund the Wilmington Police Department's body-worn camera program is one of many deliberate investments essential to building mutual trust between law enforcement and more importantly, the communities that they serve," said Sen. Coons, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Senate Law Enforcement Caucus. "The residents of Wilmington and officers with WPD deserve enhancements to policing operations that strengthen accountability, trust, and transparency. Time after time, our nation has witnessed tragedies that have resulted in the unfortunate loss of lives, particularly in Black and Brown communities, and these body-worn cameras will serve as an invaluable tool for justice."
"It's clear that body-worn cameras help law enforcement gain the community's trust through transparency in policing, and Delaware's congressional delegation worked hard to get this funding from the U.S. Department of Justice to ensure every officer has this technology," said Sen. Carper. "We heard from constituents loud and clear – this is a necessary tool in the toolbox for our law enforcement that will assist the Wilmington Police Department in advancing relations between law enforcement, our city’s residents, and the surrounding region."
"As part of the social justice movement across the country, we've been forced to confront the way that we police our communities and neighborhoods. One of the most effective and widely accepted policy solutions to help improve policing is the use of body-worn cameras. We've already taken action at the federal level through the passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act and have been working with our local partners," said Rep. Blunt Rochester. "In working with the City, community members, and police agencies, everyone agreed that the use of body-worn cameras would help improve outcomes. I want to thank Mayor Purzycki and Chief Tracy for their leadership in establishing the program in Wilmington and am grateful that at a time when the City is facing revenue challenges, the federal government can help provide resources for this critical program. I look forward to continuing to work with the City and with police agencies across the State to further the use of body-worn cameras in Delaware."
"This is a great day for Wilmington," said Attorney General Jennings. "Body cameras will make a real difference in our City, and Chief Tracy, Mayor Purzycki, and our congressional delegation deserve enormous credit for securing this funding. The next step is clear: funding and deploying body-worn cameras on every officer across our State – and I am grateful for Wilmington’s leadership by example."