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Ask a Grants Expert – November 2009

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 email us at expert@policegrantshelp.com

Dear Grant Expert,
I’m a Police Detective for the Newport Police Department in Newport, OR. I’m currently trying to become a Polygraph examiner and I’m looking for ways to fund the school ($5000.00) and was wondering if you knew of any grants out there that I might be able to apply for. I’m going to purchase my own equipment to help alleviate half of the total cost. Any ideas you could give me I’d greatly appreciate. Thank you.
-Newport, RI

Dear Future Polygraph Examiner,
We suggest that you look at the Paul Coverdale grant to fund this type of training. Your department can apply directly to the federal government for the competitive funds.
Let us know how it goes. Happy Grant Writing!

Dear Grant Expert,
Could you provide me information about grants that would assist our department in obtaining new Honor Guard uniforms, training, and equipment? Thank you in advance for your time in this matter.
-Davenport, Iowa

Dear Iowa Honor Guard,
Sadly, we are not aware of any grants that would fund this type of request. Grants for law enforcement fund projects and equipment for safety and well being of the community. The funder will require data to support that request.

This type of need is typically paid for through fund raising activities and events such as events like marathons, corporate sponsorship, civic sponsorship and general community donations (as opposed to grants). You could talk with your local chamber of commerce to see if they have any suggestions on how to approach the community.
Best of luck with this project!

Dear Grant Expert,
I've just been given the assignment of taking over grant writing for our police department. To say that I'm overwhelmed would be an understatement. Our department, like may others, is currently in crisis. A tax for the police department just failed. Our department has an allocated strength of 102 officers, but we've only reached that number once in my 20 years on the department. We are the 15th largest city in the State of Ohio, with a population of just under 60,000 residents. In our city, unemployment is high and our crime statistics continue to climb.
Any help you could give me in reference to newsletters, books, training regarding grant writing would be greatly appreciated.
-Elyria, OH

Dear Future Grant Writer,
Ugh, we definitely understand your situation with both an economic crisis and being put in charge of grant writing.

Outside of PoliceGrantsHelp, here are some additional websites for getting started in grant research and grant writing:
- www.ojp.gov
- www.grants.gov  
- www.foundationcenter.org  

Grant funding is not emergency funding. Grant writing takes time. Federal grants can take as much as 8-12 months from application to award to contract. For emergency funding your department needs to speak with your Federal and State Congressmen and elected officials to see if they have any emergency resources available. All states and their counties are in dire straits right now but police coverage is an essential service. Your department may also want to talk with your state department of justice/homeland security to see of any emergency funding can be found.
It is hard to be in your shoes right now but hopefully this information will help you get started and make things a bit easier. Take a deep breath and be sure to contact us if you need more help!

Please note: One of our grant consultants, Denise Schlegel, will be the grant writing instructor for the Northeast Counterdrug Center in 2010. The class is free to any law enforcement personnel and is five days. Meals and lodging are also included. www.counterdrug.org  June 7-11, 2010 at the Fort Indiantown Gap in Pennsylvania and October 25-29 2010 at Volk Field Wisconsin. Your only cost is your time and travel. You can register for either of these classes at this website.

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