POLICE Magazine

JUL 2018

Magazine for police and law enforcement

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eas without affecting overall interoperability so that you can make your grant fit the funding sources capability to fund you. STEP #3: FORM A COMMITTEE Form a committee to research, plan and develop a grant appli- cation for this project. Grants now-a-days are complicated and highly competitive in nature. Any grant presented to a potential funding source will be up against hundreds of departments seek- ing similar funding. You must be able to present an "A-Game ap- plication" in order to even score in the fundable range of many grant funding sources now. Committees will allow you to break up the overall task into smaller tasks handled by people with a pro- pensity for providing that type of expertise to the committee. You need number crunchers, statistical data people, budget people, computer researchers and creative thinkers to assist with develop- ing and presenting this grant application. STEP #4: DOCUMENT YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES Know and be able to document what it is that you are responsible for. What is your permanent resident population? Do you have mutual aid agreements with surrounding jurisdictions which add population to you? What size are your primary response areas and your mutual aid response areas? What critical in- frastructure do you protect in your area of responsibility? What are the financial demographics of your area? What does your budget from the last several years look like? What other financial challenges are your city or jurisdiction facing and trying to deal with which prevents them from funding this project for you? How many and what type calls did you answer last year? Some good places to look for the answers to some of these ques- tions include: • American Fact Finder: https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/ jsf/pages/community_facts.xhtml • City Data: http://www.city-data.com/ • Google Earth: https://www.google.com/earth/desktop/ STEP #5: FIND A FUNDING SOURCE Now that you know how much you need, how many of each you need, and what problem it is you are trying to resolve, it's time to look for a funding source. Since most law enforcement grants are handled at the state level the first place to begin checking is the State Administering Agency. is is the actual office usually found at your state capitol, and a vast majority of the federal grant programs available are handled directly through their offices. You can locate the state administering agency for your state at Office of Justice Programs web page https://ojp.gov/saa/. is is a great place to start asking questions about what programs may be available for you to use for your interoperable emergency communications equipment project. Other websites that provide information about where to find funding opportunities include: • Tribal Security Grant Program: https://www.fema.gov/trib- al-homeland-security-grant-program • State Homeland Security Grant Program: https://www.fema. S P E C I A L R E P O R T • M I S S I O N C R I T I C A L C O M M U N I C AT I O N S 15 gov/homeland-security-grant-program • COPS Grants: https://cops.usdoj.gov/grants • Edward Byrne Bureau of Justice Assistance Grant (JAG): https:// www.bja.gov/jag/ • Community Development Grant Program: https://www.hud. gov/program_offices/comm_planning/communitydevelopment/ programs • Rural Facilities Grant Program: https://www.rd.usda.gov/pro- grams-services/community-facilities-direct-loan-grant-program ere are a number of different grant funding sources to apply to. Once you have read the RFP/NOFO for these programs you will find the specifics of what must be presented in the grant applica- tion when it is submitted. Read, read, and read again. e devil is in the details and the number one reason for grants failing is fail- ure to follow instructions. If you are cautious and use a systematic approach as outlined above you can be successful. Remember, a grant application must present a comprehensive project that lays out what the problem is, why the problem exists, the proposed solution to that problem, and the reasons that the applying agency cannot afford to fund the project themselves. ese grants in particular take a lot of time to put together suc- cessfully and you cannot expect to accomplish everything that was related above just a week before the deadline. For example, if your grant project involves multiple agencies in a regional type approach you will need to have MOUs (Memorandums of Un- derstanding) included for each agency participating. ose doc- uments themselves can take the better part of three months just to make it through the governing bodies for signature and approval, so start the planning and researching for this grant at least 8-12 months in advance of the application deadline in order to give yourself time to be sure that what is being presented is in fact a comprehensive approach. Each funding source uses your application to gauge your agen- cy's professionalism and ability to handle a large monetary grant. Be sure to put your best foot forward here. n Kurt T. Bradley is a public safety grants consultant with First Re- sponder Grants, LLC.

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