In the recently passed General Government Bond Bill, Senator Michael Moore (D-Millbury) was able to secure funding for body-worn cameras for police departments, as well as funding for CENTRO, formally known as Centro Las Americas.
$20 million will be provided in the form of a grant program. These grants will be awarded by the executive office of public safety and security to cities and towns for the purchase of body-worn cameras for police departments. The grants will primarily be awarded to municipalities that are capable of utilizing the cameras, such as providing the proper surveillance and storage of the equipment.
$5 million shall be provided to CENTRO, so they may establish a grant program for businesses in the second Worcester district owned by individuals from socially and economically disadvantaged communities. This includes those from communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the criminal justice system or by racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias. The grants will be for economic and workforce training opportunities, affordable housing, technology infrastructure and opportunities for the establishment, development or expansion of small businesses.
“These were two high priority goals of mine as we worked to finalize the General Government Bond Bill,” said Senator Moore. “Body cameras are a critical piece of equipment for police departments, and this funding will help make them more accessible for cities and towns throughout the commonwealth. Furthermore, supporting economically disadvantaged individuals in the second Worcester district has always been one of highest priorities.”
“The additional funding secured by Senator Moore is incredibly helpful for us as we continue our mission of assisting socially and economically disadvantaged communities in Worcester,” said Juan A. Gomez, President and CEO of CENTRO. “We will now be able to provide additional support to our community; and in collaboration with LABO, additional support to entrepreneurs of color throughout this section of Worcester. I again thank the work done by Senator Moore and his colleagues in the Senate for their work on this bill.”