If you are seeking additional funding for technological resources for your law-enforcement agency, one place you can look is the Department of Homeland Security. Public safety grants are available, but when it comes to how to win a grant from Homeland Security, it’s important that you know what kind of funding is available and what you need to do to maximize your likelihood of getting assistance.
Purpose of a Homeland Security Grant
Security/safety grants from Homeland Security are provided primarily to help your local police department fight terrorism. If your grant proposal does not include ways to use the funding to prepare for, prevent or respond to a terrorist attack, you are unlikely to receive a grant from Homeland Security.
Types of Homeland Security Grants
The grants you will be applying for from Homeland Security will often come through FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, in the form of preparedness (nondisaster) grants. These are grants provided by DHS and FEMA to state, local and tribal emergency responders in order to help these groups respond to, prevent or recover from a terrorist incident involving a weapon of mass destruction such as a nuclear weapon, biological or chemical attack.
Your grant money can be used for two purposes — upgraded equipment and terrorism prevention activities. Approved equipment can be found in the FEMA Authorized Equipment List. This equipment can include anything from scuba gear to body armor to emergency medical footwear. You can download the entire list or do an online search for specific items relevant to your situation.
Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Activities (LETPA) is a required feature of any Homeland Security grant and includes such activities as implementation and maintenance of the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative, counterterrorism training, development of Countering Violent Extremism programs and support for coordination of regional full-scale training exercises for terrorism response. There is a full list, along with mandatory minimum funding allotments.
Earning Your Homeland Security Grant
A homeland security grant can do wonders for your organization, and you should definitely do everything in your power to earn one if you think your team might be eligible. Since the Department of Homeland Security receives many such requests and has limited funds to distribute, here are a few tips to consider very carefully when applying for your Homeland Security Grant.
Fill Out All Forms Correctly
This cannot be stressed enough. Along with your proposal, you need to fill out any application forms required and provide all the information DHS needs to consider your grant. Even what may seem like a very minor error could be cause for denying your grant.
Demonstrate Community Support
The more community support you can garner for your proposal, the better. Being able to demonstrate that local interagency cooperation will take place as a consequence of your proposal can work strongly in your favor, as can evidence that your particular proposal or something similar to it has not been tried in the community before and that the community has expressed a need or desire for it.
Make Sure Your Grant Request Is Appropriate
Remember, Department of Homeland Security grants are dispensed in connection with terrorism-fighting efforts. If you cannot link your need for funding to fighting terrorism, submit your request to a different agency. Also, remember to learn the LETPA requirements and make sure your proposal includes the required Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Activities.
Proofread and Review Your Proposal Carefully
Remember that you may have only one chance to get grant approval from Homeland Security for your agency. You need to make sure your proposal is seamless. Get all your required statistics and plans organized before beginning to write the proposal, and expect to write multiple drafts. Be sure to have one or more trusted colleague review your proposal before you send it in, looking not just for typos but also for a clear statement of need and purpose that fits in with DHS requirements for grant funding.
Know the Deadlines
You should know the annual deadline for submitting your Department of Homeland Security grant proposal before you even begin the process. Make sure you leave yourself enough time to complete all steps and get the proposal in before that deadline. If you miss the deadline by even one day, it is highly unlikely your proposal will be considered for that year.
If you follow these tips and have a great proposal that meets DHS guidelines, you have a strong chance of receiving the funding you are looking for.
Feel free to contact us and learn how to obtain funding for your department today!