A federal grant request by the Odessa Police Department for funding for body-worn cameras was denied recently, OPD Spokesman Steve LeSueur said.
LeSueur said he did not know the reasoning behind the denial of the request, but that the Odessa Police Department would reapply for the grant within the next few months.
Body-worn cameras are a tool used by some law enforcement to provide a visual and audio record of all police interactions. The application for the grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance states body-worn cameras strengthen accountability and transparency, causing more constructive encounters between police and the community.
The grant, which was applied for February of last year, requested from the U.S. Department of Justice $285,000 in funds, to be matched by the City of Odessa for a total funding cost of $570,000, which would be used to purchase 190 body cameras at $1,500 each.
It is unknown whether the cost of the program would remain the same should OPD reapply for the grant.
Office of Justice Programs records show 80 grant applications were approved between small, mid-sized, large, and extra-large agencies, awarding a total funding amount of $13,718,227 in Fiscal Year 2017.