2019 COPS Office funding opportunities announced

Application period open for grants to support school violence prevention, anti-drug task forces, officer safety and wellness, and community policing


On March 29, the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office announced the availability of over $70 million in competitive grant funding to support a variety of community policing initiatives.

Five COPS grant programs will be accepting applications from now until the end of May to cover:

The COPS Office has announced over $70 million in grant funding to support a variety of initiatives. (Photo/PoliceOne)
The COPS Office has announced over $70 million in grant funding to support a variety of initiatives. (Photo/PoliceOne)

Spend the time now to understand what’s expected under each grant program so you can prepare a winning grant application.

Here’s a summary of each grant program along with some tips on how to prepare your application package.

School Violence Prevention Program (SVPP)

$24 million in total funding available.

Funding authorized under the Students, Teachers, and Officers Preventing School Violence Act of 2018 (STOP School Violence Act of 2018) is available to improve security at schools and on school grounds using evidenced-based school safety programs.

Uses of the funds can include:

  • Coordination of school safety strategies with local law enforcement.
  • Training for local law enforcement to prevent school violence against others and self.
  • Deterrent measures in school such as placement and use of metal detectors, lighting and locks.
  • Acquisition and installation of technology for notification of local law enforcement during an emergency.

Eligible applicants: States, units of local government, Indian Tribes and public agencies (i.e., police, sheriff’s and school districts.) Note: Individual schools (public or private) are ineligible to apply directly for these funds. A portion of the funds can be sub-awarded to local education agencies and nonprofits, as well as other public agencies.

Maximum grant award: $500,000 over a two-year period. A 25 percent cash match is required.

Deadline: May 31, 2019.

COPS Anti-Heroin Task Force (AHTF) Program

$32 million in total funding available.

The AHTF is designed to advance public safety by providing funds to locate or investigate illicit activities through statewide collaboration related to the distribution of heroin, fentanyl, or carfentanil or unlawful distribution of prescription opioids. AHTF is open to state law enforcement agencies with multijurisdictional reach and an interdisciplinary team (e.g., task force) structures.

Uses of the funds can include:

  • New civilian or entry-level sworn personnel to work directly on anti-heroin and other opioid investigation activities. (Agencies may elect to redeploy locally funded sworn personnel to engage in AHTF activities and assign newly hired AHTF-funded officers to backfill their positions.)
  • Equipment, supplies, travel, training, contracts/consultants and other costs directly related to anti-heroin and other opioid investigation activities.
  • Other costs can include overtime for sworn officers engaging in anti-heroin and other opioid investigation activities.

Eligible applicants: Only state law enforcement agencies who have primary authority over state seizures of heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil and other opioids. The state must have high per capita rates of primary treatment admissions for heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil and other opioids

Maximum grant award: $3 million over a two-year period. No local match required.

Deadline: May 28, 2019.

COPS Anti-Methamphetamine Program (CAMP)

$8 million in total funding available.

CAMP is designed to advance public safety by providing funds directly to state law enforcement to locate and investigate illicit activities related to the manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine.

The program targets funds to state law enforcement agencies in states with high seizures of precursor chemicals, finished methamphetamine, laboratories and laboratory dump seizures.

CAMP funding must be used to locate or investigate illicit activities such as precursor diversion, laboratories, or methamphetamine traffickers. 

CAMP funding is not available for cleanup, treatment programs, or prosecution of methamphetamine-related activities. 

Eligible applicants: CAMP is open only to state law enforcement agencies authorized by law to engage in or to supervise anti-methamphetamine investigative activities.

Maximum grant award: $2 million over a two-year period. No local match required.

Deadline: May 28, 2019.

Community Policing Development Program (CPD)

$6 million in total funding available.

CPD funds are used to develop the capacity of law enforcement to implement community policing strategies by providing guidance on promising practices through the development and testing of innovative strategies; building knowledge about effective practices and outcomes; and supporting new, creative approaches to preventing crime and promoting safe communities.  

Applicants must propose to develop strategies addressing multiple agencies, not single departments or jurisdictions.

In 2019, CPD will fund projects in the following areas:

Building Bridges between Law Enforcement and Youth

  • $200,000 available to fund one or more awards.
  • The COPS Office will provide funding to an organization seeking to explore innovative ways to reduce youth involvement in the criminal justice system including youth leadership and life skills training among others.

Increasing the Capacity for Change Through the Implementation of Innovative Recruitment Strategies

Designing a Public and Officer Safety Dashboard

  • $500,000 to fund one award.
  • Funding will support the development of a public safety dashboard to ensure adequate data are filtered to leaders and decision-makers and give them real-time 360-degree situational awareness.

Protecting Youth Through the Implementation of School Safety Recommendations

  • $500,000 to fund one award.
  • Under this award, a provider will partner with a group of law enforcement agencies to implement recommendations from recent school safety studies and to document implementation lessons learned. Resources/publications developed must be for national distribution to law enforcement agencies.

Translating Crime Reduction Best and Emerging Practices for Small and Rural Agencies

  • $400,000 to fund one award.
  • The COPS Office seeks to fund an applicant to translate crime reduction (e.g., violent crime, domestic violence, drugs) best and promising practices into actionable strategies for small and rural agencies.

Building a Campaign to Improve the Reporting of Hate Crimes

  • $200,000 to fund one award.
  • The focus of this topic area is the development of a nationwide campaign on hate-crime reporting. This should include tools for community reporting to law enforcement and law enforcement to the FBI.

Improving Law Enforcement Coordination and Information Sharing in Response to Endangered Youth

  • $300,000 for one award.
  • The goal of this project is to develop, test and deploy a system that will improve law enforcement coordination and information sharing in response to endangered youth.

Innovative Uses of Technology to Address Crime

  • $300,000 for one award.
  • The COPS Office will award a grant to one provider who will explore, identify and document crime reduction strategies that make innovative use of law enforcement technology.

Emerging Issue Forums

  • $250,000 for one award.
  • Funding will support a provider to convene two forums of leaders in the law enforcement field on issues impacting community policing.

Training for Law Enforcement: Developing New Skill Building Courses to Advance Public Safety

Blue Alert Network Support

  • $100,000 for one award.
  • The COPS Office seeks an applicant to assist them in National Blue Alert Network coordination efforts by collecting information on law enforcement officers shot in the line of duty and preparing the annual report, as well as other materials for both the advisory group and public dissemination.

Open Category

  • $600,000 total for multiple projects.
  • Applicants for this topic area can propose the development of new or existing implementation projects that enhance community policing strategies. This could include developing interactive training, implementing demonstration projects, creating promising practice guidebooks and toolkits, delivering topic-specific technical assistance, or producing multimedia resources that capture innovative stories and experiences.

Invitational Applications

  • These topics are by invitation only. Contact the COPS Office Response Center for details.

Uses of CPD funds: Varies by topic area.

Eligible CPD applicant: All public governmental agencies, for-profit and nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher education, community groups, and faith-based organizations. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit an application that shows partnerships with key organizations including institutions of higher education and nonprofit organizations to build strong working relationships.

Maximum CPD grant award: Varies by topic area. Awards are for a two-year period. No matching funds required.

Deadline: May 28, 2019.

Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act (LEMHWA) Program

$2 million in total funding.

The 2019 LEMHWA program will fund projects that develop knowledge, increase awareness of effective mental health and wellness strategies, increase the skills and abilities of law enforcement, and increase the number of law enforcement agencies and relevant stakeholders using peer mentoring programs. Projects in topic areas 1 and 2 must be national in scope.

Topic areas include:

LEMHWA Peer Mentoring Training and Support

LEMHWA Recommendation Implementation

  • $250,000 for one award.
  • The COPS Office seeks an applicant to design projects or resources that will help the field advance one or more recommendations in the LEMHWA Report.

LEMHWA Peer Support Implementation Projects

  • $1 million to cover 10 awards of up to $100,000 each.
  • The primary goal is to pilot new or enhanced peer-led mental health and wellness projects that will serve state, tribal, or local law enforcement agencies. Proposed projects may serve one agency, a consortium of agencies, or officers from agencies located within a county or state.

Uses of funds: Varies by topic area.

Eligible applicants: All public governmental agencies, for-profit and nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher education, community groups and faith-based organizations.

Deadline: May 28, 2019.

HOW TO PREPARE A COMPETITIVE GRANT APPLICATION

Hundreds of agencies across the country will be applying for these grants – many more than the COPS Office is able to fund. Here are some suggestions to prepare a grant application that stands out from the crowd.

1. Start now to prepare your project strategy

First step is to read (and even re-read) the grant application guidelines and other documents on the respective COPS grants websites. The COPS Office provides a huge amount of material to help applicants understand requirements. The information outlines what expenses are allowable and unallowable under each program; how applications are to be structured; what federal laws and regulations you need to follow if awarded; and the fiscal and programmatic reporting requirements.

2. Register on all the required federal grant portals

Your application will be submitted electronically through Grants.gov, which requires your agency have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and be registered and active in the System for Award Management (SAM) database before establishing a Grants.gov account. You will also be required to have an active COPS online account on the COPS Office Agency Portal. Check with your agency to see if these have been established; if not, complete the registration process. It may take a few weeks for portal access approval so start now.

3. Meet with community partners

Meet with schools, task force members, mental health agencies, government leaders, law enforcement and other criminal justice representatives and nonprofits. Develop and define each partner’s role in your proposed program. Draft letters of commitment or memorandums of agreement that outline these roles and responsibilities. Some of the grant applications require these documents.

4. Gather all the required statistics and demographic information

Most of the COPS grants applications require statistical information such as crime rates, substance abuse treatment admissions data, population size, poverty rates and other demographic data to justify your need for the funding. Collecting the required data can be time-consuming so begin this process now.

5. Follow the application instructions

Follow all application instructions exactly as written. Do not go over the page limit or word count on any component of the application. Do not include an item in your budget that is not allowable. Include all required forms and attachments. Submit your application by the deadline.

Your time and effort in preparing a comprehensive application will be lost if your application is rejected because you went over the page limit or didn’t follow other COPS Office requirements.

The team at PoliceGrantsHelp is always available to assist. We offer grant-writing services, application assembly and review, along with grant research assistance.

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