PoliceGrantsHelp.com: A one-stop Web site for information
Applying for law enforcement grants just became easier with the January 2008 launch of PoliceGrantsHelp.com. Published by PoliceOne, with sponsorship by Cisco, the Web site features an extensive database of law enforcement grants with federal, state, local, and corporate opportunities, and how-to information.
"Information about law enforcement grants has always been scattered in many places, making it time-consuming to find out about opportunities," says Alex Ford, chief executive officer of PoliceOne. "The challenge is even tougher because grants and the technologies that qualify for those grants are constantly changing."
The goal of PoliceGrantsHelp.com is to consolidate all the information that law enforcement departments need to take advantage of grants to fund purchases for public safety. Web site visitors can find out about available grants, products and projects that are eligible for those grants, tips on tailoring their grant proposal, and resources that can provide more assistance.
"In addition to helping law enforcement agencies identify available grants for their department," Ford says, "The site guides people through the grants process so that they can spend less time searching for and writing grants and more time deciding which equipment best meets their department's needs."
Good Climate for Grants
The continuing popularity of grants as a discussion topic on PoliceOne.com provided the inspiration for PoliceGrantsHelp.com. "Law enforcement departments recognize that technology can make them more effective, but their technology budgets are limited by the community tax base, or by how funding is allocated within the municipality," says Ford."Grants — federal, state, and private — provide the necessary incremental funding."
PoliceOne estimates that as much as $1 billion in grant money is available for day-to-day law enforcement operations and for specific topical issues such as communications interoperability and drug enforcement. The PoliceGrantsHelp.com database consolidates information from PoliceOne, Cisco, and the Grants Office. Designed with ease of use in mind, the site operates like a Web search engine. People enter keywords and have the option of entering the type of opportunity (such as Equipment and Technology) and the state where the agency is located. The Web site then displays a list of results that match the search criteria.
Grant projects that promote mobility and communications interoperability rank among the most popular now. Currently, grants are available for the latter through the Public Safety Interoperable Communications (PSIC) Grants Program. One of the qualifying solutions is Cisco IP Interoperability and Collaboration System, which provides cost-effective communications interoperability between traditional and Project 25 radio networks as well as nonradio devices, including phones, mobile phones, IP phones, public switched telephone network phones, and PC clients.
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