Government grants: one way cities and police can stretch their budgets

Thu, 2016-11-10 14:48 -- SCC Staff

While local funding options like tax measures and municipal bonds may be available to help police departments finance new and enhanced programs, that's not always the case. Federal agencies can often fill in those frustrating budget gaps. — Doug Peeples

We've assembled examples of resources available to local law enforcement agencies from the federal government. If your city hasn't explored any of these avenues before, you may be surprised at the variety of options available.

Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) offers several grant program opportunities throughout the year. COPS programs focus on community policing and offer grants and cooperative agreements for hiring community policing officers, assistance for tribal policing and anti-drug programs. Grant recipients also are eligible for technical assistance, innovation research and more.

The Bureau of Justice Assistance under the Department of Justice offers grants in several law enforcement areas. Among them are body camera policy and implementation, drug court training and technical assistance programs, mental health, victim and witness cooperation, officer safety and wellness, gun and gang crime reduction and several others. Click the link for the BJA's FAQ page and previous grant awards. The bureau generally requires that applications are innovative and incorporate preventive strategies that integrate science and data, "non-traditional" collaborations and partnerships and citizen involvement.

The Rural Information Center of the U.S. Department of Agriculture lists rural development and law enforcement grant and loan opportunities for facilities, vehicles and equipment. It also includes USDA grant opportunities and updates on grants available from other agencies (including those listed above). The center also lists resources available from other agencies for federal, state and local first responders, in addition to links to organizations that can provide assistance in specialized areas ranging from small law enforcement agencies to canine programs.