For most police departments, law enforcement grants make up a critical component of the annual budget. These grants – both public and private – provide funds for almost every element of modern law enforcement including technology, training, and even tactical gear.
Where can in-need departments find information on the best law enforcement grants for their particular situation? Vel Tye offers a few suggestions.
Start with the Department of Justice
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is the primary resource for all federal-level police grants. Offering support to thousands of jurisdictions around the country, the DOJ runs a division called the “Program Plan” which contains three grant-making components. These include the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), The Office of Justice Programs (OJP), and the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW). All DOJ programs are supported by Congressional budget appropriation.
The OJP has a grant program aimed specifically at providing police forces with life-saving tactical gear. The Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) has been matching investments by state and local law enforcements in tactical armor and protection vests since 1998. Vests purchased through the BVP must be NIJ-certified to qualify for reimbursement.
Another popular OJP program, the Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program, is the leading source of federal justice funding to police forces at the state level.
Check with the Department of Homeland Security
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security offers several grant programs designed to supplement other federal funding sources. The DHS grants are intended to “enhance the ability of regional authorities to prepare, prevent and respond to terrorist attacks and other disasters.”
The program includes a wide variety of grants such as FEMA-related disaster grants, Non-disaster grants (ND), TSA grants, and even research grants.
Look into Private Grant Opportunities
Outside the myriad federal grant programs available to American police forces are a number of worthwhile private grant initiatives designed to improve the job of law enforcement. These grant programs are privately funded, either by individuals, corporations, or by donations to a centralized “charity” or “fund.”
The American Police and Sheriffs Association is a subsidiary of a notable 501(c)(3) organization providing tactical resources, training materials, and equipment to officers all around the country, sometimes individually. Vests for Life is a privately-funded initiative that provides officers in need of protection vests with the equipment they require to stay safe.
There are dozens of other private foundations providing resources for police officers that can be contacted directly including the Allstate Foundation, the MetLife Community Police Initiative, K9 Working Dogs International, LLC, the National Tactical Officers Association, the Wal-Mart Community Grants Association, and many more.
Vel Tye is a leading supplier of high-quality tactical gear to police departments all over the country. Staffed by military veterans, we understand the unique challenges that come part-and-parcel with grant funding.