MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — Minneapolis, St. Paul and the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe pilot programs for police body cameras will each receive a major boost through funds from the U.S. Department of Justice.

The Department of Justice awards announced Monday evening had the three Minnesota agencies among 73 nationwide that qualified for a share of $23 million in body camera purchase and training grants.

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Mayor Betsy Hodges and Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau announced that Minneapolis will receive $600,000 in federal funding for the project that would put body-mounted cameras on Minneapolis Police officers. St. Paul will also receive $600,000. Both cities will have to match with local funds to outfit officers with the tiny recording devices. Leech Lake secured about $42,000.

Harteau has previously professed support for the program, and leaders held several public hearings on the new technology earlier this year. Some citizens have raised concerns about when the cameras should be turned on and off, how to protect the privacy of those recorded, and public access to the body camera footage.

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“Part of Minneapolis’ transition into a 21st-century city involves transforming our approach to policing,” Mayor Betsy Hodges said in a press release. “Implementing a body camera program will enhance transparency and accountability, and in other cities it has decreased the use of force and complaints of excessive force.”

Mayor Hodges and Chief Harteau say they plan to have all patrol officers equipped with body cameras by early 2016.

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