Budgetary restraints can make it incredibly difficult for agencies to invest in upgrades, but grant programs and the recent ARP Investments in Public Safety & Violence Prevention can present unique opportunities for law enforcement. Agencies across the country have taken advantage of the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund. As of May 2022, roughly $450 Million has gone directly to PUBLIC SAFETY TECHNOLOGY AND EQUIPMENT.
The prospects of new grant funding can give even more agencies the resources they need to launch community programs and modernize their technology. Understanding where these investments have already gone—and which initiatives are funding priorities for 2023—will help law enforcement professionals come up with their own ideas of how they can benefit from the grant awards too.
Forecasting the Police Grant Funding Initiatives
The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center is a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization that collects key data on community policing. Their website shares a wide array of resources for agencies, and they work to support police efforts by developing research-based strategies that educate communities and policymakers on ways to increase public safety.
One recent article from the CSG highlights a few key points of the Fiscal Year 2023 spending bill and ARP state and local funding. President Biden signed this bill on December 29, 2022, and its contents include various state and local grant programs designed to fund criminal justice initiatives within the U.S. Department of Justice.
For example, the spending bill outlines funding $35 Million for JUSTICE REINVESTMENT to reduce corrections and reinvest savings into public safety strategy improvements. Investments include community-based treatment, as well as grant creation to support local law enforcement, enhanced services for victims, and more.
As summarized by the CSG, an additional $45 Million will be put toward COMMUNITY POLICING DEVELOPMENT (CPD) via competitive grants, with $9 Million of that total going to agencies seeking assistance with accreditation and compliance. This will provide financial support for agencies seeking to better align with the national and international law enforcement policies, procedures, practices, and operation standards. Of that, no less than $2.5 Million funding will be reserved for small and rural law enforcement agencies.
There are all types of ways for communities to strengthen their public safety efforts, and the current and upcoming open solicitations for grant funding can help police shore up their budgets for different initiatives. It’s all about knowing where to look!
Community Policing and Public Safety Grant Resources
Through the ARP funding opportunities, public safety agencies have secured new radio systems, police cars, valuable recording equipment for their employees, and more. But for many communities, that’s just the beginning. Funding opportunities and announcements are updated all the time, so it’s certainly worth keeping an eye on a few different websites.
This community policing experts at the U.S. Department of Justice award grants for training programs and policing strategies, as well as other initiatives. This includes Preparing for Active Shooter Situations (PASS) and even Community Policing Development (CPD) Microgrants. Open solicitations are updated year-round. It can also be helpful to review some of the highlights from their past award recipients to gain new perspectives on how your agency can apply grant funds for your own public safety efforts.
In addition to funding opportunities, the BJA also offers a variety of funding webinars to educate agencies and local governments about the grant application process. Current grant opportunities are listed on their website in order of the application closing date. It always pays to plan ahead, and agencies should also be aware that certain programs will require an invitation to apply.
The grant management system for the Department of Justice covers funding opportunities that support law enforcement and public safety activities on all levels. Agencies in state, local, or tribal jurisdictions can create accounts to enter the online portal and review grant listings. Don’t miss out!