Outside-the-box funding for police fleets

With some creative thinking, strategic writing and matching your needs to the grant agency’s purpose, you could be awarded funding to upgrade your department’s fleet


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By Therese Matthews

With some creative thinking, strategic writing and matching your needs to the grant agency’s purpose, you could be awarded funding to upgrade your department’s fleet. Here are some outside-the-box options for police vehicle grants.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Many police departments are replacing their aging vehicle fleet with alternative fuel or electric cars. (Photo/PoliceOne)
Many police departments are replacing their aging vehicle fleet with alternative fuel or electric cars. (Photo/PoliceOne)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers grants and loans to support public safety services and equipment including police vehicles. The USDA’s Rural Development Community Facilities Direct Loan & Grant Program is available to communities across the country. If you are located in a rural area, and qualify because of your population size and poverty level, consider applying for funding under this program.

Travel and tourism

If your agency provides security for large events, fairs or concerts, consider reaching out to your state’s Travel and Tourism office regarding grant funding to support the cost of the equipment and vehicles you need to keep these events safe.

Green technology/zero emissions grants

Many police departments are replacing their aging vehicle fleet with alternative fuel or electric cars. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has several funding options to consider under its Clean Cities Coalition Network. Coalitions operate within each major metropolitan region across the country. Reach out to the Clean Cities Coordinator nearest your area to discuss your project needs and inquire about funding.

Private funding

Some of the nation’s largest insurance companies, such as State Farm and MetLife, and automobile manufacturers and rental car companies like Ford, Toyota and Hertz administer grant programs that focus on driving safety, law enforcement and community well-being. Also, law enforcement trade associations such as The Spirit of Blue Foundation have grants available to support your in-car equipment and training needs.

Community Foundations operate across the country by providing funding to non-profit and some government agencies focused on keeping their neighborhoods safe and vibrant. The Foundation Center is a great resource for locating the community foundation that operates in your area. Once you find a contact, reach out to your Community Foundation representatives and inquire if they will support a request for a police vehicle or in-car equipment.


About the author
Therese Matthews has over 25 years of experience in grant writing, grants management and program development.

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