COLUMBUS (WCMH)- Starting immediately, Ohio begins a statewide rollout of body cameras for State Troopers in the field.

“This is not new for us as far as the transparency, we’ve always been about developing a rapport and a community and public trust,” said Colonel Richard Fambro, Ohio State Highway Patrol.

The initiative is beginning in Columbus but the plan is to complete the rollout by May of 2022. The 15-million-dollar project will produce a total of 1,550 body cameras and 1,221 in-car systems. That funding will be spent over the course of five years. The cameras will automatically be activated when lights and sirens are turned on.

“These cameras will be an important tool for community-police relations. They will enhance public trust and give our citizens another reason to have confidence in the professionalism of the OSHP,” said Governor Mike DeWine, (R) Ohio.

Governor DeWine denied this initiative being a result of the protests on police reform in 2020. He says the body cameras are just best practices at this point.

“This is frankly where we think every department should be and we have an obligation as patrol to lead, set the example but we understand what’s holding a number of small departments back is simply money,” said Governor DeWine.

The Ohio General Assembly has approved millions of dollars for grants to help local law enforcement purchase body cameras. Governor DeWine says they’ve seen high interest and will need to talk about increasing the funding.