State officials on Monday announced grants to 176 police departments to buy more than 5,000 body cameras, a move they claim puts New Jersey at the "forefront" of states embracing the relatively new technology. 

Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said Monday the $2.5 million program, announced this summer to "overwhelming" interest, would more than double the number of departments using the technology, reports.

The funding comes at a time of increased scrutiny of interactions between police and private citizens, spurred in part by high-profile police shootings across the U.S. and in New Jersey.

"We are confronting the fact that we all see the world through the distorted glass of our own personal concerns, experiences and interests," the attorney general said during the announcement, held at Rutgers University. "What a body-worn camera does is give us an objective witness in a police-involved shooting and other use of force cases."