Group wants to help DC get police body cameras through crowdfunding

Is the government spending your tax dollars on what you want? If not, would you be willing to pay for it with private donations? There is a move underway to pay for police body cameras in the District through crowdfunding.

The price tag is high -- it would cost $5.1 million to outfit all D.C. police officers with body cameras. But because of questions about freedom of information and budget constraints, the D.C. Council sliced the body camera budget in half.

How many times have you been upset at federal or even local lawmakers who decided to slice funding to the programs you want? Now, you can help raise the money yourself.

"We are very passionate about police cameras," said Matthew Berke of newstarter.com, a Texas-based crowdfunding group. "We feel that it is a no-brainer solution."

Berke said if D.C. leaders won't fund the program, private donors will. So far, this effort has raised over $20,000. If the goal isn't reached within 150 days, donations aren't charged.

"What is most important to us is that politicians across the country -- Republican or Democrat, it's irrelevant -- know that we will act," said Berke. "We are not waiting anymore for a dysfunctional and indebted government to act."

This really isn't an effort about body cameras, but it is an effort to raise money when the government simply won't step in. For example, there may be a road near your home that needs to be fixed or a bridge that needs to be renovated. That is where these crowdfunding efforts can come into play.

But when it comes to police body cameras, the crowdfunding dollars won't just be handed over to the District. If it reaches its goal, cameras will be purchased and given to the city. If it doesn't reach that goal, investors get their money back.

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