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2018 COPS Office grants: What police leaders need to know

Community policing programs and illicit drug investigations are the focus of this year’s funding


The AHTF Program is focused on providing funding to be used for investigative purposes in order to locate or investigate illicit activities related to heroin distribution or unlawful prescription opioid distribution.

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

On April 27, The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) announced the opening of three funding opportunities within its suite of grant programs available this federal fiscal year.

Grant applications are now being accepted under the Community Policing Development (CPD), COPS Anti-Heroin Task Force (AHTF) and COPS Anti-Methamphetamine (CAMP) Program.

Here’s a summary of each opportunity and suggestions for projects that fit within the programs’ guidelines.

Community Policing Development Program (CPD) – Application deadline is June 7, 2018

A total of $10 million in CPD funding is available to support projects in a number of topic areas.

Eligible agencies include public government agencies, for-profit and non-profit institutions, higher education institutions, community groups and faith-based organizations.

Overall the focus is on projects that provide guidance on promising practices in community policing. These can be accomplished by:

  • Developing and testing innovative strategies;
  • Building knowledge about effective practices;
  • Supporting new and creative ways to prevent crime and promote community safety.

Topic areas include:

1. Incorporating community policing into contemporary broken windows theory applications

  • Only one award up to $500,000 will be given.
  • Strategies must focus on the theory that partnerships with the community on tackling disorder and minor crimes will help prevent major crimes from occurring.
  • Types of projects could include piloting an innovative community policing practice, developing training, or creating toolkits that help agencies implement these practices.

2. Supporting First Amendment rights: The community policing approach

  • One award up to $500,000 will be given.
  • Focus on developing tools and resources that assist local law enforcement to plan and manage public speaking events.
  • Types of projects include developing practice guides, videos and webinars built on existing resources that can be shared with law enforcement across the country.

3. Partnerships to address labor trafficking

  • One award for up to $500,000 will be given.
  • The focus is on building a greater understanding of labor trafficking and developing tools to assist local law enforcement work with a range of stakeholders to address this issue.
  • Types of projects include developing webinars, guidebooks, roll call videos, online training and toolkits that assist law enforcement to identify, investigate, arrest and prosecute labor traffickers.

4. Online law enforcement training

  • Four (4) awards up to $250,000 each will be given.
  • These projects must focus on developing interactive online course(s) that are compatible with the COPS Office Training Portal.
  • Training must not duplicate other online courses supported by the Federal Government and must follow all of the technical requirements outlined in the CPD application guide.

5. Supporting first-line supervisors

  • One award for up to $300,000 will be given.
  • This project should focus on developing tools, resources or promising practices that allow first-line supervisors to effectively carry out their complex duties and responsibilities every day.
  • Types of projects would include developing webinars, online trainings, roll call videos, guidebooks or toolkits tailored specifically for first-line supervisors.

6. Field-initiated Law enforcement microgrants

Six sub-categories to consider: Peer Support for Officer Safety and Wellness; Human Trafficking; Hate Crimes; Recruitment and Hiring; Incident-Specific After-Action Reviews; and Child and Youth Engagement

  • Eighteen grants for up to $100,000 each will be awarded.
  • The focus of these grants is to demonstrate or pilot projects that advance community engagement, problem solving and organizational change. Funding can support the resources you need implement these projects.
  • Successful grantees will share lessons learned with the other law enforcement agencies around the country through at least one COPS Office publication or production.

7. Open topic area – This is your opportunity to propose a uniquely innovative community policing strategy.

  • Seven awards of up to $300,000 will be given.
  • You may choose any community policing idea, but the COPS Office is particularly interested in projects that support and enhance law enforcement engaging children and youth, projects that address homelessness, or projects that respond to gangs, violence and the opioid crisis.

8. Tribal training and technical assistance

  • The focus is on Native American recruitment for tribal law enforcement.
  • Training and technical assistance should be provided to tribal law enforcement agencies and non-tribal public safety partners.
  • Deliverables could include conducting regional conferences and workshops, forums, online training, onsite training, partnership outreach and the development of publications around this recruitment strategy.

COPS Anti-Heroin Task Force Program (AHTF) – Application deadline is June 27, 2018

The AHTF Program is focused on providing funding to be used for investigative purposes in order to locate or investigate illicit activities related to heroin distribution or unlawful prescription opioid distribution.

A total of $32 million is available with the maximum award of $3 million per state agency.

Eligible applicants are solely state law enforcement agencies; however, collaboration with public safety and public health agencies is strongly recommended.

  • Funding is directed toward states with high rates of primary treatment admissions for heroin and other opioids.
  • States applicants must have a multijurisdictional approach and propose an interdisciplinary team structure.
  • Although task force participation is not required, state agencies that participate in a task force will be given priority.
  • The funding is not available for treatment programs or for the prosecution of heroin or other opioid related activities.

COPS Anti-Methamphetamine Program (CAMP) – Application deadline is June 27, 2018

This highly competitive funding opportunity is focused on supporting state law enforcement agencies’ ability to investigate illicit activities related to the manufacture and distribution of methamphetamines.

A total of $8 million is available under this program with the maximum award of $2 million.

Similar to the AHTF Program, eligible applicants are solely state law enforcement agencies in states with high seizures of precursor chemicals, finished methamphetamine, laboratories and laboratory dump seizures. Those agencies must be authorized to engage in or supervise anti-methamphetamine investigative activity.

Priority consideration will be given to those state agencies that apply as part of a new or existing multi-jurisdictional and interdisciplinary task force.

The funding is not available for the cleanup of clandestine drug laboratories or for treatment programs or the prosecution of methamphetamine-related activities.

Next Steps

Closely review the full grant application guidelines for the CPD, AHTF and CAMP programs if you are interested in applying for any of these COPS Grant opportunities. Work with your agency partners and community stakeholders to propose innovative community policing strategies.

The application deadlines are fast approaching! The team at PoliceGrantsHelp is ready to help. Our grant assistance program includes a number of options including grant writing and grant application review.