Grants Available for Law Enforcement Agencies and Updated Technology
Technological improvements in law enforcement generally require updated equipment for each patrol car, a system for the central office, and an interface to tie together all components. Depending on the number of patrol cars, dispatchers, and resource officers within the department, the amount spent on technology can quickly add up. The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) funds opportunities for any organization that falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice. The NIJ regularly posts open grants specific to the "…research, development, evaluation, testing and training, and technical assistance projects across the spectrum of criminal justice." The NIJ frequently awards law enforcement technology grants; a list of open, closed, and pending grants may be found on NIJ's website.
Grant writing is a difficult process not many individuals are familiar with. Below are pointers that may give your organization the edge to secure a technology grant, providing your agency an advantage over crime.
- Professionally-written grants are more likely to be chosen: The ability to clearly state the reason your organization needs funding, to explain the current state of your organization without technology or with outdated technology, and to give the funding committee a better idea that their money will be spent as intended all greatly increase the odds of receiving funding. Grant writing classes are available online and in larger cities, in face-to-face settings.
- Be specific about your request. Conduct a needs assessment with facts demonstrating why funds are needed, and cite examples of past experiences where technology fell short in solving a crime. For instance, if the in-car cameras used in patrol cars perform poorly in dim light and arrests cannot be made because suspects were shadowed in the video, write that in a technology bid for new patrol car cameras.
- Grants are often data-driven. Be sure to provide accurate statistics and hard numbers concerning the lack of technology and how it has prevented a specific percentage of arrests. Crime-reporting data will give the NIJ the demographics of crime in your jurisdiction.
- Price out the equipment and services required for your organization to move forward with new technology. Research every price from wiring and upgrades to the new equipment proper. Attention to detail proves your department has a firm idea on how much funding is necessary.
When your organization is writing a law enforcement technology grant, consider adding NC4 Street Smart™ to the grant. NC4 Street Smart allows real-time reporting to accurately locate where crime prevails. Even more, NC4 Street Smart ties patrol officers to the centralized command center, giving a clear line of safe communication between officers and headquarters and from one patrol car to another. Contact us today to learn more about NC4 Street Smart and our other law enforcement technologies.
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