Denise SchlegelSecrets to Getting Police Grants
Date last updated: Monday, October 18, 12:19 PST
Getting funding to combat underage drinking
According to the US Surgeon General’s report, The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking, underage alcohol consumption in the United States is a widespread and persistent public health and safety problem that creates serious personal, social, and economic consequences for adolescents, their families, communities, and the Nation as a whole.
Alcohol is the drug of choice among America’s adolescents, used by more young people than tobacco or illicit drugs. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration [SAMHSA] 2006. The prevention and reduction of underage drinking and treatment of underage youth with alcohol use disorders (AUDs) are therefore important public health and safety goals. Every officer in the country understands the depth and breadth of underage DUI and its impact. Five thousand (5,000) alcohol related deaths occur every year among youth under the age of 21. There are also about sixteen hundred (1,600) homicides and three hundred (300) suicides related to alcohol (SAMHSA).
Youth are among the fastest growing sectors in our country and first time drinkers and binge drinkers continue to increase in number. Law Enforcement Agencies and their local schools and communities are working to develop strategies to overcome this challenging growth. There are many grant resources available to both law enforcement and their community but preparation is required to compete for this funding. As with all grants, organizational preparation is the key to successful funding. Preparation and planning also leads to better outcomes.
Identify and define the problem by completing a needs assessment
Assess your own department’s strategies for underage drinking and underage DUI
Identify the Gaps
Assess your resources
Develop your strategies
• Direct Enforcement Strategies: Such as sobriety checkpoints, party patrols, vendor stings, hotel stings, point of purchase undercover efforts, third-party sales deterrence, and controlled dispersal at large parties
• Educational Strategies: In order to support your enforcement strategies most police departments also provide or partner with other community resources to implement educational programs. DUI simulators, Golf carts with DUI glasses, educational presentations, which offer information to youth and their families on the effects of intoxication, the known risks and the real data about youth and drinking. There are, however, many vendors with driving simulators, glasses and other programs concerning DUI. Every police department must research each vendor carefully. The funder will want to know why you chose a specific simulator or program and you will have to provide data on the impact and outcomes of that specific vendor products. Some vendors have good data and information about their approach and tools and how the school or community underage drinking problem was reduced or impacted. Others have no idea. These programs can cost anywhere from $1000 per day to $3000 per day to implement. Do your homework prior to selection of s specific vendor. School and Community Prom and Graduation Parties are a good way to control the underage drinking issues which increase around these two life events. Working with your partners to provide a sponsored non-drinking party can provide for a safe party!
• Program Strategies: By partnering with your school and community you will have more funding opportunities available. Grants for this issue are available from the US Department of Justice, the National Highway Safety Administration, The US Department of Health/SAMHSA, the US Department of Education, State Grants and private and corporate foundations. Funding for programs such as Project Safe Neighbor, Safe Schools, Lead and Seed and many more are available grant funded programs available to law enforcement and their partners.
• Underage Drinking Task Force: Many communities have developed a task force as an option for everyone to partner together to fight this issue from all sides. Utilizing environmental strategies to address underage drinking has been found to the most effective strategy for reducing and addressing underage drinking. That means that the problem is attacked from all sides by the entire community of partners who have vested interests in keeping kids safe. The task force, due to it scope of partners, can offer a full continuum of strategies concerning underage drinking. All of the partners at the table can access different funding which benefit everyone at the table benefits. Each partner builds in their needs into the grant and everyone works together to develop innovative ways to approach the issue and save the lives of our youth.
By completing all of this preparation prior to looking for grant funding, you have created the answers for most of the questions funders ask in your grant proposal. You have also developed a sound approach, determined your needs and resources and prepared your thoughts on what you need from the funding source. You have also reduced you time completing a grant funder search as you have narrowed down your thoughts to exactly what you need to have funded.
Best wishes with your grant writing endeavors. Please contact us with any questions you may have!