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October 30, 2019

Drive to give body cameras to border patrol gains steam as Republicans join effort

Two House Republicans from southern border states are pushing appropriators to include millions of dollars in a 2020 funding bill to put body cameras on all U.S. Customs and Border Protection law enforcement personnel.

In a Monday letter to leading Democrats and Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee and Subcommittee on Homeland Security, Arizona Reps. Debbie Lesko and David Schweikert asked that an additional $21 million be included in the chamber’s fiscal 2020 funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security.

The money would go toward creating a “body-worn camera program or record” for law enforcement within CBP, which the agency has spent four years studying how to implement.

“These funds will allow CBP to acquire body-worn cameras and deploy the exact same technology already used by our nations [sic] local law enforcement. The body-worn camera equipment is desperately needed to improve officer safety and transparency,” wrote Schweikert and Lesko, the latter of whom is ranking member on the House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Transportation and Maritime Security.

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