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PoliceGrantsHelp 101

While it may surprise you, countless law enforcement agencies choose not to pursue grant funding for department projects. Whether your department needs body armor, less lethal devices, training or funding to hire additional staff, grants can help bridge the gap between a budget shortfall and successfully funding your project. Most grant programs have specific eligibility requirements and are often intended to provide funding for a particular operational area of your department. Careful grant planning and research will ensure that your department’s project meets any program requirements.


Develop your budget: Put together a cost estimate for the project you are seeking funding for and make sure you plan for any grant match requirements. Departments can sabotage themselves because of how line items are listed in their budget. There is a clause attached to most Federal and State grants that state you cannot supplant funds. This means that if your budget has a line item for a new vehicle and you get a grant, which gives you that vehicle, you will still have to buy that vehicle. You can not transfer the money intended for that vehicle to another line item and use the money budgeted for something else.

Record and Report: Something very critical to grants is statistical data and record keeping. Keep a record of everything that your department does and keep it updated regularly. In addition, maintain reporting to state and federal agencies is necessary component in the grants process. This is especially true in law enforcement where how much you are legible to receive is based on a formula used by computing your Uniform Crime Index numbers vs. your population. Here is a list of the types of data to record and report: http://www.policegrantshelp.com/grant-data-collection/

Use generic terms like “equipment” in budget line items. This way if you get the grant you will still be able to use the money towards another piece of equipment and would not be violating the supplanting rule.


Pick the internal right skillsets: Look for interested motivated members of your organization. A good team will consist of someone from each the following areas: accounting, operations, training, and management.

Think about the external impact: Who and what are the organizations and individuals that will be impacted if your department is awarded a grant. Individuals and organizations who have had a chance to participate in planning are much more likely to cooperate with efforts to run a grant program  and a lot less likely to file a complaint with the city council or media.

Try to identify those who will benefit from the proposed project and leverage these organizations for input


Duns Universal Numbering System:  Since 2003, the Federal Government has required all applicants and recipients of Federal funding to obtain a DUNS number. The Duns Universal Numbering System allows the government to track where federal money is being distributed and how its being utilized.

It can take 24 – 48 hours to get a DUNS number. If you need one call 866-705-5711 or apply online at http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform


National Incident Management System Compliance: NIMS is a comprehensive, national approach to incident management that is applicable to all jurisdictional levels across all functional disciplines. Departments must participate in NIMS in order to qualify for DHS grants after October 1, 2006.

The intent of NIMS has two parts. 1) Be applicable across a full spectrum of potential incidents and hazard scenarios, regardless of size or complexity and 2) improve coordination and corporation between public and private entities in a variety of domestic incident management activities. It is highly recommended that departments follow current and future instructions issued by the NIMS Integration Center. You should be full prepared in any grant application to discuss and relate your agency’s compliance with NIMS.

National Incident Management System, An Introduction – IS 700 is offered free of charge through the Emergency Management Institute


Grant Resources: There are many grants available to law enforcement agencies throughout the year. These grants are from the Federal, State, and Local governments as well as Corporations and Foundations.

Once your grant strategy has been set up and identified, it’s time to search for available grant opportunities. Use the PoliceGrantsHelp.com search engine to locate available grants. You can perform a search by category (Federal, State or Corporate) or by selecting your state on our interactive grant map to show all available opportunities. Search results will provide a brief synopsis of the grant, as well as: application period dates, contact information, links to the grant homepage, and more. We are constantly looking for new and exciting grant opportunities to provide you with the most up to date grant information available. If you know of any grants that aren’t currently appearing in our database, please submit them to us.

Having trouble locating a grant to fit your strategy – Contact our PoliceGrantsHelp Experts