US Dept of Justice gives Phoenix $4.8 million in grants

The federal government is giving the City of Phoenix a grant award.

"This is a big deal for the City of Phoenix, this is what success looks like," said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton.

Stanton announced a major grant award for the Phoenix Police Department from the U.S. Department of Justice.

The $4.8 million grant will include $3.1 million to hire 25 new officers, $637,000 to purchase up to 150 body cameras, $451,000 to process a DNA backlog, $392,000 to go after Internet Crimes Against Children, and $253,000 for counterfeit trademark enforcement.

"The best police department in the United States of America just got a little bit better, and a little bit bigger," said Stanton.

Police Chief Joe Yahner said the body cameras would help build trust within the community.

"They are the tool of the future, now are they a catch-all for everything? Not really, but they are very good," said Joe Yahner.

Yahner says he believes the cameras are good for the officers and the public.

"Initial assessment is it changes the behavior of both parties. The police officers are on video, their behavior in my opinion is better, the citizens behavior is better. Because everything is recorded there's no saying 'well it didn't happen that way,' because we can all watch it and determine for ourselves," said Yahner.

The 25 officers to be hired will likely be hired in the community relations division of the department.