LAKEVILLE — Lakeville police are now using body cameras, after the department used a $40,000 grant to purchase 22 body-worn cameras and video management software.

Police Chief Matthew Perkins said in a statement Friday that the program is meant to enhance the department’s accountability in the community.

The department received $40,000 in funding from the state's Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program for the bodycams.

A total of 22 Motorola WatchGuard Body Cameras and related software were purchased with the grant funds.

Lakeville Police had 22 officers listed in the department roster in the town's 2018 annual report, the most recent report available online.

The department noted that just 10% of police departments in the state have a body-worn camera program, citing a December 2021 survey from the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association.

"Our department has maintained several body-worn cameras since 2015 for use by a few designated officers, but now after receiving the grant award, we are capable of issuing cameras to all officers,” said Perkins.

All Lakeville police officers have received training on how the new cameras operate, according to the department.

The cameras are expected to help accurately document police officers’ interactions to increase transparency, promote de-escalation, resolve citizen complaints, and help train others.

"Our department has a robust police-community relationship," said Perkins. "The goal with this program is to continue building trust and positive relationships between our officers and the community we serve."

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