Ask a Grants Expert – October 2009

Editor’s Note:

Editor's note: We answer so many grant-related questions from fellow law enforcement officers that we thought we’d start sharing some of their grant projects and our solutions on a monthly basis. Should you have a specific project that you are trying to fund and you have hit a road block, e-mail us at

Dear Grant Expert,
Our Station is over 60 years old. It is very small; the locker room is also the report room and role call room. We book suspects in the same area as we house any prisoners. When booking suspects we have to cuff them to an old wooden bench. There is no sally port to transport prisoners, we have to take them out a door to the side of the station in all kinds of weather and place them into our patrol vehicles. My big question is do you know of any Grants that we can update or build a new station with?
-Stone Park, IL

Dear Cramped Quarters,
It sounds like there may be some officer safety issues as well as human resource issues of concern here.

Here are the grants that are most commonly used to upgrade or build essential public facilities. I really like both of these programs because they offer grant funding as well as low interest loans as options for your projects. Bear in mind that to qualify for USDA, the population your department serves should be under 10,000.

USDA Public Safety Agency Grant and Loan Program
Community Development Block Program

Dear Grant Expert,
Are there any more federal grants similar to the “No More Mr. Nice Guy” grant that our department obtained and used to combat gang problems in our area?
-Corpus Christi, Texas

Dear No More Mr. Nice Guy,
I haven’t heard of that grant but I like its zero tolerance policy. Depending on what you are trying to fund will depend which grant is going to make the most sense for your department. Here are some grants that address gang issues.

GREAT (Gang Resistance Education and Training)
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Weed and Seed
Gang Prevention Youth Mentoring Program

Dear Grant Expert,
I’m trying to find a grant to fund the first ever Citizen Police Academy. The costs we’d need covered are materials and officer pay to cover the Citizens academy. I’m not sure what the Edward Byrne Grant included or if it pertains to what I’m looking for. What I’m asking for is to just cover the cost of current officers for overtime to participate/teach citizens during this Citizen Academy. Also the cost of materials. The total costs for one Academy class is $7,500.00 Could you please help?
-Morgan Hill, CA

Dear Community Cop,
Yes one class should be covered by JAG but overtime may be an issue. It will depend on the guidelines of the grant solicitation you target. Most of the JAG grants were not covering overtime just new employees or a portion of a salary for a special project.

You could potentially go after the Target & Blue grant as well as the Wal-Mart grant to help with funding for this project as well.
Target & Blue
Edward Byrne Memorial JAG Program

About the author

Sarah is responsible for the day to day management of the Grant programs on PoliceGrantsHelp, FireGrantsHelp, EMSGrantsHelp, GovGrantsHelp, and EducationGrantsHelp. She has been working with non-profits professionally and personally for over 10 years. Through her leadership the grant assistance program has helped over 20,000 public safety and local government agencies with grant assistance resulting in over $75 million in funding.

Prior to managing the Grants program, Miss Wilson was the Director of Operations for Praetorian Digital and held various marketing and organizational management positions within financial services. Sarah earned her bachelor's degree from the University of California at Davis. A west coaster her entire life, Sarah was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, raised in Southern California and currently calls San Francisco home.

Contact Sarah Wilson

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