Alameda, Contra Costa counties win U.S. Justice Department grants

Alameda County won a $1 million grant from the U.S. Justice Department today to enhance the use of body-worn cameras by law enforcement officers, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced.
The county's award was one of 106 national, state and local grants, totaling more than $20 million, that were made by the department's Bureau of Justice Assistance to improve body-worn camera policy and use.
The Foothill-De Anza Community College District was given a $27,194 award for its police force's use of the cameras.
"When backed by sound policies and procedures, body-worn camera use has the potential to heighten transparency, reduce complaints, and improve evidence collection, leading to safer neighborhoods and greater respect for the law," Lynch said in a statement.
In another set of Justice Department grants announced today, Contra Costa County was given nearly $400,000 for a Smart Defense Initiative aimed at making sure criminal defendants have effective lawyers.
Contra Costa was also one of six counties nationwide to share in a $6 million Smart Reentry award to aid people released from prison in successfully reentering society. 
The county's two awards were among $34.5 million in grants to more than 40 agencies and research institutions in a department initiative to reduce crime by providing a science-based approach to criminal justice operations.