THE DEPARTMENT of Justice awarded $19.3 million in grants yesterday to dozens of police departments seeking to start using body cameras but turned down a greater number of applicants hoping for federal aid to deploy the technology.

The Justice Department said the grants will go to 73 police agencies in 42 states, helping purchase 21,000 cameras that officers wear on their uniforms to record interactions with citizens. More than 200 other police agencies that applied were passed over for funding for cameras, which are touted as a way to reduce the use of force and clear up questions about disputed encounters.

In all, 285 departments sought $56 million under the program, announced by the Obama administration in May. The department said that the 73 awards exceeded the 50 originally envisioned and that it added $2.5 million to enhance the grant funding available.

- Associated Press