Trump administration officials are working out how to use a federal grant program that provides cameras to people in rural areas.
The money is available for about $4,000 a year for about five years, according to the State Department.
The federal grant also covers a lot of the work of installing cameras, and it will likely continue.
The grants are meant to help improve community communications, but they could be used for things like providing a more comprehensive picture of the health of rural areas, said Mike Bowers, executive director of the American Association of Rural Firefighters.
The State Department did not respond to a request for comment.
In addition, the grant program provides about $100 million for community-building projects, which is a lot.
It can be used to buy equipment, like cameras and other equipment, and to fund education programs, said David Krumholz, a senior policy analyst at the Center for American Progress.
The grant program is also meant to increase communication between government agencies, he said.
“What this program is really about is encouraging government officials to have more involvement in building and operating their own infrastructure in rural America.”
A rural fire service can’t afford to purchase the equipment it needs for its cameras, but the grant money can help it pay for the hardware and pay for training.
So far, the grants are used to purchase some cameras, said Chris Oleson, executive assistant secretary for the Office of Rural Affairs.
That includes one for the Montana Department of Agriculture.
A spokesperson for the Agriculture Department did a call for comments, but didn’t immediately respond.
The department did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
The U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs also received about $1.5 million through the grant, but officials said it’s used to train its staff in building digital-video cameras.
That program is meant to provide rural communities with access to digital cameras, such as ones used by federal law enforcement, according and the department.
The program is not currently used, the agency said in a statement.
The Department of Homeland Security also receives money through the program.
A Department of Labor spokeswoman declined to comment.