So, is applying for a grant guaranteed money?

Unfortunately, free money is never guaranteed, but you just don’t know unless you try! Somebody’s bound to receive funding for an available grant. Why not you? Start by identifying a good cross-section of both public and private opportunities that speak specifically to your department’s unique needs. Assign someone (or hire a professional grant writer) who can take the time to research these opportunities and accurately describe who you are. In the actual application dot your I’s and cross your T’s. Follow directions and be sure each application conveys your agency’s personality/profile, unique mission, and specific needs.

Is it a good idea to hire a grant writer if an agency wants to secure a particularly important grant?

The folks at First Responder Grants say the old adage “You get what you pay for” rings true even for—especially for—grant writing. If you know you’re going to be one in a sea of thousands, you may not want to chance it. Really polished grant writing evidences formal training and/or professional instruction.

Aside from upgrades in equipment, what other types of grants are out there?

If you can imagine it there’s likely a grant for it. For example, FEMA offers Hazard Mitigation Assistance for floods and other natural disasters.

My department is putting together a tactical team to serve warrants, high risk enforcement, etc. What are some federal grants that will help us to buy equipment for tactical teams?

Other forum users said they’ve managed to nab items free (or dirt cheap) through the Law Enforcement 1033 program from the Department of Defense, including: Kevlar helmets, rifle magazines, apparel and boots—even vehicles.

Is there a website where one can view grant types by state?

Some states provide a targeted list of opportunities, and federal grant sites will provide this information on occasion (particularly if the grant in question is state-specific). General rule of thumb: If the verbiage doesn’t say that something is NOT available in your state—apply for it!

Our department is looking at getting Tasers. Does anyone know of good grants to try?

One option to consider is contacting a less-lethal company directly and asking whether they could use testers. Sometimes these companies will be more than happy to receive qualified feedback and may express their appreciation by offering their product to agencies at a significantly reduced rate. (This could be true for other types of equipment as well).

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