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New Hope gets state grant to help buy police body-worn cameras

(file photo)

New Hope will receive $11,218 in state funds to purchase body-worn cameras for police. It’s part of a statewide crime-reduction strategy that prioritizes evidence-based policy and practice.

The money is included in a $2,532,739 funding program by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) to help county organizations and localities serve victims of crimes, assist with treatment, and improve public safety.

The use of body-worn cameras by police has met with increasing acceptance across the political spectrum in recent years, and civil rights groups say the technology can be a boon to citizens and law enforcement officers alike as long as the right policies are in place.

“Although we at the ACLU generally take a dim view of the proliferation of surveillance cameras in American life, police on-body cameras are different because of their potential to serve as a check against the abuse of power by police officers,” said the American Civil Liberties Union in a policy statement. “Cameras have the potential to be a win-win, helping protect the public against police misconduct, and at the same time helping protect police against false accusations of abuse.”

Under the PCCD funding program, Bucks County will receive $125,533 in Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Relief funds, and another $920,347 through the County Adult Probation and Parole Advisory Committee (CAPPAC) to support the county’s work to improve adult probation services. The Bucks County Commissioners will also receive $387,520 in Children’s Advocacy Center Advisory Committee (CACAC) funds to support a fourth year of its pilot program to prevent child sexual abuse.

Additional CAPPAC funds of $916,121 were awarded in Intermediate Punishment Treatment Funds to the following organizations, to support project work:

  • Bucks County Commissioners: $545,570
  • Network of Victim Assistance (NOVA): $304,382
  • A Woman’s Place: $66,160

NOVA received an additional $125,000 in Victims Services Advisory Committee (VSAC), Federal STOP Violence Against Women Funds, as well as $47,000 from the CACAC for its work as a State Children’s Advocacy Center.

“These state funds will meet critical needs in our community, helping our local organizations and entities continue to serve our vulnerable populations,” said State Senator Steve Santarsiero (D-10.)

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