COPS Office announces 2020 grant funding opportunities

Highlights of the COPS Hiring Program, as well as extended deadlines for community policing microgrants and school violence prevention programs

The Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office has announced the opening of several grant funding opportunities for 2020.

Due to the potential impact of jurisdictional emergency responses to COVID-19 that may cause reasonable delays for applicants, the COPS Office has extended the solicitation deadline for several open grant programs. 


The information below is focused on the grants that municipal agencies can apply for direct. 

Please note: Partnership opportunities may exist to access additional support from the other resources listed above. Check with your state taskforce representatives and training facilities.

COPS Hiring Program (CHP) 

CHP provides funds directly to law enforcement agencies to hire new or rehire existing career law enforcement officers and to increase their community policing capacity and crime-prevention efforts.

Amount: $400 million available in total funding.

Deadline for submission: March 11, 2020, at 7:59 p.m. EDT.

Eligibility: All state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies that have primary law enforcement authority are eligible to apply.

2020 Program Highlights

  • Funds as many positions as possible for successful applicants; however, the number of officer positions requested by an agency may be reduced based on the availability of funding and other programmatic considerations.
  • Provides 75% of the approved entry-level salaries and fringe benefits of each newly hired and/or rehired full-time officer, up to $125,000 per officer position, over the three-year (36-month) grant period.
  • Requires you to identify a specific crime and disorder problem/focus area and explain how CHP funding will be used to implement community policing approaches to that problem/focus area.

Additional consideration will be given to applicants who select the following problem/focus areas:

  • Violent crime
  • Homeland & border security problems
  • School-based policing

Retention policy: All departments must again to retain the same number of officers for a period of 12 months after the end of the program period.

Important information regarding School Resource Officer positions: Applicants who wish to request officer positions in order to deploy school resource officers (SRO) must choose the School-Based Policing through School Resource Officers community policing problem area in their 2020 CHP application. Note that applicants requesting officer positions in order to deploy SROs must deploy all their requested officer positions as SROs. CHP recipients who use CHP funding to deploy SROs will also be required to submit a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the law enforcement agency and the school partners. In addition, all applicants who select School-Based Policing as their focus area and subsequently receive FY 2020 CHP funding for SRO’s will be required to send each awarded SRO position to a regionally based training, sponsored and subsidized by the COPS Office.

Refer to the MOU Fact Sheet for additional guidance.

Community Policing Development (CPD) Microgrants Program

Community Policing Development (CPD) funds are used to develop the capacity of law enforcement to implement community policing strategies by providing guidance on promising practices through the development and testing of innovative strategies; building knowledge about effective practices and outcomes; and supporting new, creative approaches to preventing crime and promoting safe communities.

Amount: CPD Minigrants Program will approve up to 23 awards for a maximum of $100,000 each.

Deadline for submission: March 11, 2020, at 7:59 p.m. EDT.

Eligibility: All local, state, and tribal law enforcement agencies.

2020 Program Highlights

Law enforcement agencies are invited to propose demonstration or pilot projects to be implemented in their agency that offer creative ideas to advance crime-fighting, community engagement, problem-solving, or organizational changes to support community policing in one of the following areas:

  • Hate crimes
  • Human trafficking
  • Meeting rural law enforcement challenges
  • Officer safety and wellness
  • Recruitment, hiring and retention
  • School safety
  • Staffing and allocation studies
  • Victim-centered approaches
  • Violent crime
  • Youth engagement

Please refer to the program guidelines to review the descriptions and expected deliverables for each topic area (starts on page 3).

Community Policing Development (CPD) Program

Community Policing Development (CPD) program funds are used to develop the capacity of law enforcement to implement community policing strategies by providing guidance on promising practices through the development and testing of innovative strate­gies; building knowledge about effective practices and outcomes; and supporting new, creative approaches to preventing crime and promoting safe communities.

Amount: $5.5 million available in total funding.

Eligibility: All public governmental agencies, federally recognized Indian tribes, for-profit and nonprofit institutions, institutions of higher education, community groups, and faith-based organizations.

2020 Program Highlights

The 2020 CPD program will fund projects related to the following topic areas:

  • Law enforcement injury prevention and rehabilitation program toolkit
  • Recruiting the next generation of officers and deputies
  • Promising practices in law enforcement victim support
  • Rural law enforcement training center
  • Managing high-risk law enforcement vehicular pursuits
  • Implementing successful faith-based partnerships
  • Police academy innovations
  • Public safety implications of driving automation systems for motor vehicles
  • Open category

Please refer to the CPD Application Guide for detailed descriptions of eligibility, topic areas and additional solicitation information.

School Violence Prevention Program (SVPP) 

The Students, Teachers, and Officers Preventing School Violence Act of 2018 (STOP School Violence Act of 2018) gave the COPS Office authority to provide awards directly to states, units of local government, or Indian tribes to improve security at schools and on school grounds in the jurisdiction of the grantee through evidence-based school safety programs.

Amount: $50 million available in total funding. All applications require a 25% match.

Eligibility: Applications must be submitted by a state, unit of local government (city, county, township, etc.), or its public agencies (state agencies and units of local government agencies such as county or city public school systems, public boards of education, independent school districts, police departments, sheriff’s departments), or Indian tribes.

2020 Program Highlights

Funding must be used for the benefit of K-12, primary and secondary schools and students.

School Violence Prevention Program funding will provide up to 75% funding for the following school safety measures in and around K-12 (primary and secondary) schools and school grounds:

  • Coordination with law enforcement
  • Training for local law enforcement officers to prevent student violence against others and self
  • Metal detectors, locks, lighting, and other deterrent measures
  • Technology for expedited notification of local law enforcement during an emergency
  • Any other measure that the COPS Office determines may provide a significant improvement in security

Additional school safety funding to develop and operate anonymous reporting systems, complete threat assessments,  provide specialized training for school officials to respond to mental health crises and prevent student violence against others and self is available under the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s (BJA’s) section of the STOP School Violence Act of 2018.

All awards are subject to the availability of appropriated funds and any modifications or additional requirements that may be imposed by law.

Two-part Application

Applicants are first required to register via, complete the SF-424 form and submit it through the website. Once the SF-424 has been submitted via, the COPS Office will send an invitation email to the applicant with instructions on how to complete the second part of the CPD program application through the COPS Office Online Application System:

1. Register at

2. Complete the application at  Click the “Account Access” tab.


The COPS Office grant programs are highly competitive. Here are a few tips to prepare an award-winning grant application.

1. Start now to prepare your project strategy

The first step is to read (and even re-read) the grant application guidelines and other documents on the respective COPS grants websites. The COPS Office provides a huge amount of material to help applicants understand requirements. The information outlines what expenses are allowable and unallowable under each program; how applications are to be structured; what federal laws and regulations you need to follow if awarded; and the fiscal and programmatic reporting requirements.

2. Register on all the required federal grant portals

Your application will be submitted electronically through, which requires your agency to have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and be registered and active in the System for Award Management (SAM) database before establishing a account. You will also be required to have an active COPS online account on the COPS Office Agency Portal. Check with your agency to see if these have been established; if not, complete the registration process. It may take a few weeks for portal access approval so start now.

3. Meet with community partners

Meet with schools, task force members, mental health agencies, government leaders, law enforcement and other criminal justice representatives and nonprofits. Develop and define each partner’s role in your proposed program. Draft letters of commitment or memorandums of agreement that outline these roles and responsibilities. Some of the grant applications require these documents.

4. Gather all the required statistics and demographic information

Most of the COPS grants applications require statistical information such as crime rates, substance abuse treatment admissions data, population size, poverty rates and other demographic data to justify your need for the funding. Collecting the required data can be time-consuming so begin this process now.

5. Follow the application instructions

Follow all application instructions exactly as written. Do not go over the page limit or word count on any component of the application. Do not include an item in your budget that is not allowable. Include all required forms and attachments. Submit your application by the deadline.

Your time and effort in preparing a comprehensive application will be lost if your application is rejected because you went over the page limit or didn’t follow other COPS Office requirements.

The team at PoliceGrantsHelp is always available to assist. We offer grant-writing services, application assembly and review, along with grant research assistance.

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