Understanding the Use
Grants are a common way to help departments and agencies acquire the necessary funding to purchase equipment such as body-worn cameras (BWC) and in-car camera systems. Tackling the task of applying for a grant can be intimidating, understanding where to look, how to apply, and how to write grants is a great place to start. Here, Digital Ally will address some general information to help get started securing a grant.
Where to Apply
Where to Look
In general, most grants can be found on the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) website, these grants are often referred to as “BJA Grants”. The BJA Available Funding page gives a detailed breakdown of what grants are available for all law enforcement entities as well as past grants, awarded grants and grant application training. A great source of information and a first point of contact should be your State Administering Agency (SAA). Many grants are awarded directly to state governments, which then set priorities and allocate funds within that state. To gather more information about available grants, find your SAA here.
In Law Enforcement, Federal grants awarded by the Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), and Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) are arguably the most common grant funding sources. BJA grants are either awarded directly by the DOJ or by the SAA.
Variety of Programs
Some of the most well-known grants are annual and provide a large amount of funding. These Grants are known by their solicitation name such as the BWC Grant, Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant “Byrne Grant” or “Jag Grant” or the Gulf States LE Innovation Grant. To find the present list of grants, past grants, solicitations, grant award information, and links to grant application training click here.
Q: The Competitive Grant Solicitation is confusing, any suggestions?
A: Grant writing is a detailed process that requires all parties to be well informed. Carefully reading
through tasks and creating “to-do lists” is a great way to stay on track and meet the submission
deadline. Finally, do not get in a hurry, to receive maximum points provide as much detail as possible
when answering each section.
Q: What should I write in the narrative?
A: The narrative is like writing a persuasive essay. A grant is where an entity has money to solve an
issue, problem, or start a program. The narrative is where the agency states the need, gives evidence
that the need exists, explain how the equipment will be used to alleviate the need, with supporting
Q: How do I formulate the Budget?
A: Research. Each grant will give a detailed outline of the maximum amount to be allotted for each
piece of equipment. These numbers are not arbitrary, after years of awarding grants and collecting
data the BJA has determined these numbers.
Q: When should you plan for grant applications?
A: Agencies tend to begin planning for grant requests at the same time as planning for the next fiscal
Q: What grants do I use for in-car cameras?
A: Edward Byrne Grant, Gulf States Law Enforcement Initiative, or any Law Enforcement Technology
Q: What grants do I use for BWC?
A: BWC Grant
Q: How soon can I expect to receive funding from the grant?
A: Each grant is different, a general timetable for funding is 4-6 months after the deadline.
Q: Can I use Highway Safety Office Grants to purchase in-car cameras and BWCs?
With the ability to automatically activate our FirstVu HD body-worn cameras and in-car video systems with the company's patented VuLink® technology, our officers no longer have to think about pressing a button to record interactions. This functionality allows us to meet our goals of increasing the safety for our officers while ensuring that we capture a comprehensive perspective of the event.
Sheriff Rick Clark | Pickens County Sheriff's Office