THOMSON, Ga. (WJBF) – The Thomson Police Department receives grant money in order to purchase body cameras for police officers in the area.

According to the Thomson Police Department, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that they would receive $9,825 through the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Body-worn Camera Policy and Implementation Program.

Officials say that money, along with a $10,000 grant from the Jefferson Energy Cooperative Foundation, will go to purchase 17 body cameras for Thomson officers, and they add that those cameras will replace a cache of 16 cameras purchased five years ago.

Thomson Police Chief Courtney Gale says the cameras help the department follow the guidelines, which is a set of practices aimed at helping agencies promote effective crime reduction while building public trust and safeguarding officer well-being, and Gales states that one of the pillars of this set of guidelines encourages law enforcement personnel to embrace technological advancements to better serve their communities.

“I cannot overstate the importance of these cameras,” says Chief Gale. “They will be an integral part of both the daily routines of our officers and the safety of our residents. This is all about being as transparent as possible. We are here to serve and protect, and that’s not just a trite saying. We truly want to be part of this community and take care of this community. This program will help us build the trust that is so vital to ensuring those relationships flourish.”

Officials say the DOJ award was part of more than $2.8 million in grants dispersed throughout the Southern District of Georgia.