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DOJ Program Helps Police Departments Buy Body Cameras

The Department of Justice opened a $20 million program Friday to pay for body cameras for police departments around the country.

Officials said the goal of the program is to help police departments reconsider the cameras they didn't think they could afford.

"Body-worn camera technology is a valuable tool for improving police-citizen relationships," Bureau of Justice Assistance Director Denise O'Donnell said in a statement. "BJA is committed to helping law enforcement agencies identify the safest and most effective methods for deploying this technology."

The program matches money spent by departments, so police only have to pay for half the cost of the cameras that cost $400 to $800 each. The department is responsible for storing the footage.

Department of Justice officials said they expect to help pay for body cameras for 50 police departments.

NBC 5's Jeff Smith contributed to this report.

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