Senate bill includes $20M for police body cameras

Senate bill includes $20M for police body cameras
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The Senate Appropriations Committee included $20 million for police body cameras in a bill funding the Departments of Commerce and Justice as well as science agencies for the next fiscal year.

To better assist law enforcement agencies, the body camera funding is included under a grant program at the Justice Department that provides criminal justice resources at the state and local levels.

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House lawmakers included $25 million in their version of the bill, which passed last week. That was after a Democrat successfully added $10 million more through a floor amendment.

The White House has asked Congress to approve $50 million for body camera funding for next year.

It’s part of a larger three-year Community Policing Initiative that the administration unveiled last year, which followed protests over the police shooting death of unarmed black teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., last summer. The Senate’s bill doesn’t appear to exclusively include that proposal.

Other cities, including Baltimore, have also had to deal with protests over police violence.

Senate appropriators advanced their spending bill Thursday out of committee, but it likely won’t make it to a final vote.

Senate Democrats are promising to block each GOP spending bill until a deal is reached to equally lift spending levels for both the Pentagon and domestic programs for at least next year.