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Huntsville passed over for federal dollars for police body cameras

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Law enforcement across the nation, and in the Tennessee valley, are looking for ways to get police body cameras. Monday the Department of Justice announced a list of 73 agencies that will get part of a $20 million pot of grant money.

While the City of Huntsville applied for the federal funding, it wasn’t awarded any, and the list doesn’t include any agencies here in the Tennessee valley.

Huntsville City Council members were fully prepared for this news. For more than a year the council has discussed the funding for police body cameras. In an effort to get our police officers the gear, council members applied for the federal grant last year. They also allocated $1.2 million in surplus funding for fiscal year 2015.

Now that this fiscal 2015 year is coming to a close at the end of this month, the council plans to use that carry over surplus funding to equip Huntsville officers with body cameras.

"I think it's a good thing,” said Huntsville Council Member, Bill Kling. “It's going to show our police officers they have been making the right decisions, they have been acting with good judgment. And so, it's basically going to be a positive. I think it'll show we have a very good police department in this city."

The U.S. Department of Justice awarded 73 agencies in 42 states the grant money. The funding will help provide 21,000 new body cameras for the departments. In total, more than 200 agencies applied for the funding. The only city in Alabama awarded money was Andalusia. They received nearly $90,000 toward the devices.

Moving forward, Huntsville is eager to start the process to equip officers with the devices.