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ELSAG North America
Police Grants Article
10 reasons to go for that next police grant
There really is no reason to miss out on some great opportunities to get your project funded or get that equipment you really need
Throughout my law enforcement career I have always been amazed at two things that can make a veteran police officer’s heart sink faster than a rookie who forgot his gun back at the jail. First is public speaking. One on one during that traffic stop, we do just fine. But go talk to a large group of citizens... forget about it. The second is grant writing. I have seen departments miss out on great opportunities simply because it involved writing a grant to get the money. “It’s too hard” or “I don’t have time” or “There’s too much follow-up involved” are among the most popular reasons given for not pursuing a grant.
Don’t get me wrong: what you may have heard is true. Grants are time consuming, grant applications are tedious, and grants generally come with some type of stipulation, like completing follow-up reports. Well guess what? Catching criminals is time consuming, arrest reports are tedious, and there is always some type of stipulation somewhere within our line of work. But it pays off in the end. So here are 10 great reasons why you should go after that next grant opportunity for your department when the time comes.
1. You could always use more money. I don’t know of one police department in the United States that can sit back and say they couldn’t use more money for something. Well, grants are designed to do just that and there are grant opportunities for everything from equipment to personnel and the training they will need. A little research and time could mean that extra personnel request the city council just turned down.
2. Someone will get the money...why not you?
These days there is a lot of talk about the current economic climate and how the government is spending money. The fact is, grant money has always been around and will always be around and law enforcement grants fund projects that benefit the community in some way or another. So if you have a true need that will benefit your community and your officers, you need to apply for grants. It is guaranteed that someone will get their project(s) funded so why not you?
3. You were meant to get funded. There is a misconception out there that only the big departments get funded or have some kind of edge over the little guys. And in some cases that may be true. But grants are designed to fund all kinds of departments from small to large, from rural to urban and everything in-between. Just be sure to read the eligibility requirements carefully and make sure your department and your project fits. As far as having an edge on the competition, let us at PoliceGrantsHelp.com help you take the edge off.
4. It is guaranteed that you will not get funded if you don’t apply. Enough said.
5. If you can convince a jury, you can convince a panel.
Back during your rookie days you were probably taught that an arrest report not only had to be factual but needed to sound a little convincing as well. You wanted that jury to think “Man, it’s a good thing you arrested that guy.” Well, grant applications aren’t much different. The narrative sections provide you an opportunity to state your case in both factual and convincing terms. Just like that jury, you can convince a panel to sit back and think “Man, we need to fund that project.”
6. You already don’t have the money... So you have little to lose and much to gain. Unless the grant is for a thousand bucks and the application will take you 10 hours to complete, it’s generally worth it to apply.
7. You already have the necessary information. To break things down into simple terms, a grant application is nothing more than a fill-in-the-blank document. (Some blanks just allow you to insert up to 2000 words instead of just one.) And if you’ve half-way paid attention during your career, you will know where to find the information you need to fill in those big blanks. Good resources for information include your agency’s database for crime stats, the city manager’s office or city secretary for demographic information and equipment manufacturers or dealers for equipment specifications and white papers. Don’t forget to look at recent grant applications too, since there’s no need to research information that someone else has already gathered.
8. Grant applications can help you get organized. If I came up to you and asked “What would you do with this equipment?” or “What is the plan of action for implementing this program?” you could probably give me an ear full of information. I may even be sorry I asked. But do you have all those details written down to refer back to when you need it? A grant application will require you to outline your action plan or give some kind of justification for funding your project. This will give you the perfect opportunity to put it down in writing and it will serve as a great reference once you get started with that project.
If you already have written an action plan, even better. You can probably find an area of the grant application where you can just plug it in and save some time.
9. Everybody’s doing it. When I walk through a law enforcement trade show, I notice something interesting. That guy peddling that snazzy bomb sniffing robot doesn’t have a credit card machine. Neither does the guy selling those sniper rifles. Why? Because they know their sale will come way after the trade show is over when their clients have applied for and received their grant money. How do you think the “big guys” get all that stuff anyway?
10. You are not alone. Don’t fret over those pesky grant applications and certainly don’t lose any sleep over them. There are tons of resources to help you through the grant process. Many of those resources can be found right here at PoliceGrantsHelp.com. Let us guide you through the process by answering all of your questions, simply pointing you in the right direction during your research and even reviewing your completed application before you submit it. Heck, we’ll even do it all for you if you want.
So as you can see, there really is no reason to miss out on some great opportunities to get your project funded or get that equipment you really need. There are so many grant opportunities out there that you can find a way to secure some or all of the money it takes to get the job done.
Just be patient, press on and remember, never retreat!