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Justice Department Releases Nearly $300 Million in Grant Solicitations for Hiring Law Enforcement Officers and Improving School Safety

Justice Department Releases Nearly $300 Million in Grant Solicitations for Hiring Law Enforcement Officers and Improving School Safety

PRESS RELEASE

Justice Department Releases Nearly $300 Million in Grant Solicitations for Hiring Law Enforcement Officers and Improving School Safety

WASHINGTON – The Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) has announced the release of approximately $300 million in grant solicitations for programs that advance community policing, keep school students safe, and add law enforcement officers to our nation’s streets.

“These grant solicitations represent the Justice Department’s commitment to keeping our children safe in their schools and assisting law enforcement agencies across the country with the ongoing recruitment and retention crisis,” said Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta. “Supporting community violence intervention programs, and the law enforcement agencies that partner with them, is not only a priority of the Department, but is critical to the safety and success of future generations.” 

“We know from experience that it takes law enforcement and communities working together to reduce crime and increase public safety,” said COPS Office Director Hugh T. Clements, Jr. “But they can’t do that without our help. This announcement represents another opportunity from the Department of Justice for agencies to apply for grants to advance their community policing efforts, hire more officers, and keep schools safe for our children.”

The announced solicitations include $224.5 million available for the COPS Hiring Program (CHP), a competitive award program intended to reduce crime and advance public safety through community policing by providing direct funding for the hiring of career law enforcement officers. For this year’s program, the COPS Office will prioritize applications for jurisdictions that support Community Violence Intervention (CVI) programs, for jurisdictions that seek to hire officers that would engage directly with CVI teams and other community stakeholders to ensure those groups are involved in strategic operations and planning, and for jurisdictions seeking to implement hiring practices to help agencies mirror the racial diversity of the communities that they serve.  All local, state, Tribal, and territorial law enforcement agencies that have primary law enforcement authority are eligible to apply.

Funding also includes $73 million for the School Violence Prevention Program (SVPP), which includes $20 million that was made available through the 2022 Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. This program provides funding to improve security at schools and on school grounds in the grantees’ jurisdictions through evidence-based school safety programs. Awards will be provided directly to eligible state, local, Tribal, and territorial partners. Recipients of SVPP funding must use funding for the benefit of K-12, primary, and secondary schools, and students. When undertaking comprehensive school safety and security approaches, applicants should prioritize implementing school safety measures that help to promote a positive school climate that does not detract from the mission of the school to educate students or negatively impact the health and wellbeing of students.

Please visit https://cops.usdoj.gov/grants for additional information about both the COPS Hiring Program and the School Violence Prevention Program. 

The COPS Office is the federal component of the Department of Justice responsible for advancing community policing nationwide. The only Department of Justice agency with policing in its name, the COPS Office was established in 1994 and has been the cornerstone of the nation’s crime fighting strategy with grants, a variety of knowledge resource products, and training and technical assistance. Through the years, the COPS Office has become the go-to organization for law enforcement agencies across the country and continues to listen to the field and provide the resources that are needed to reduce crime and build trust between law enforcement and the communities served. The COPS Office has been appropriated more than $20 billion to advance community policing, including grants awarded to more than 13,000 state, local and Tribal law enforcement agencies to fund the hiring and redeployment of more than 136,000 officers. 

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