Coronavirus and Law Enforcement: COPS Office CRI-TAC COVID-19 Resources

Announcement from DoJ COPS Office:

The COPS Office recognizes the challenges law enforcement agencies are facing as they respond to COVID-19 and we continue to fully support your efforts. We know that as first responders, you need rapid assistance and resources as you respond to COVID-19. Through the COPS Office’s premier technical assistance center, the Collaborative Reform Initiative for Technical Assistance Center (CRI-TAC), we are mobilizing to meet your needs.

CRI-TAC, led by the IACP and nine leading law enforcement stakeholder associations (FOP, FBINAA, IACLEA, IADLEST, MCCA, NOBLE, NAWLEE, NSA, and NTOA), recently launched the COVID-19 Library of Resources. This directory is a searchable library of agency policies, standard operating procedures, fact sheets, press releases, special orders, training documents, and other COVID-19–related materials. This tool will allow law enforcement to share important guidance with one another on issues such as risk mitigation, communication, and officer safety. Please visit the COVID-19 Library of Resources to learn more or find out how you can submit a resource to share.

Additionally, CRI-TAC partners are actively working with the CDC on guidance and information, especially regarding jails. To review the current CDC guidelines on what law enforcement personnel need to know about COVID-19, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/guidance-law-enforcement.pdf, and to review interim guidelines for correctional and detention facilities, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/correction-detention/guidance-correctional-detention.html.

As resources are developed, they will be added to the COVID-19 Library of Resources. In the meantime, if you have a direct technical assistance need as a result of COVID-19, please reach out to CRI-TAC via https://cops.usdoj.gov/collaborativereform.

CRI-TAC can offer short-term, remote technical assistance for agencies that need expert assistance from others in the field. To learn more about CRI-TAC view our video today: https://cops.usdoj.gov/collaborativereform.

Firefighter jobs, hiring and recruiting: FY 2019 SAFER Fire Grant open for applications Apr. 13-May 27, 2020

Firefighters

FY 2019 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant

UPDATE: Deadline extended to May 27, 2020!

$350,000,000 fire grant for firefighter jobs, hiring, and recruitment for fire departments

Grant Website

Grant Guidelines

NOFO Number: DHS-19-GPD-083-000-99

Grant Application Period:

Opens Monday, April 13, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. ET
Application Deadline: May 15, 2020 May 27, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. ET

Increase the number of firefighters in your fire department

The Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program focuses on enhancing the safety of the public and firefighters with respect to fire and fire-related hazards.

The SAFER program accomplishes this by providing funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations to assist in increasing the number of firefighters to help communities meet industry minimum standards and attain 24-hour staffing to provide adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards, and to fulfill traditional missions of fire departments.

What this grant does for your agency

SAFER offers grants to support projects in 2 areas:

  1. Hiring of Firefighters Activity is to hire new, additional firefighters to improve staffing levels or changing the status of part-time or paid-on-call firefighters to full-time firefighters.
  2. Recruitment and Retention of Volunteer Firefighters Activity is to assist fire departments with the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters who are involved with or trained in the operations of firefighting and emergency response.

Agencies awarded the FY 2019 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant receive funds to help their department recruit and hire firefighters.

Estimated Total Program Funding: $350,000,000

Expected Number of Awards: 300

Only a limited number of grants will be awarded.

Grant Eligibility

For full eligibility details, see the Grant Guidelines:

About the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Helping people before, during, and after disasters. More

Grant Deadline

Grant applications are due no later than 5 p.m. EST, May 15 27, 2020.

Apply

Apply for the FY 2019 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant

CARES Act and Firefighters: $100M for PPE and supplies to battle Coronavirus/COVID-19

FEMA Announcement: Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

The CARES Act authorizes $100M in Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) funds for the purchase of personal protective equipment and related supplies for our nation’s first responders. As fire departments provide lifesaving emergency medical response to more and more communities impacted by COVID-19, FEMA AFG is offering an additional funding opportunity for the fire service community to purchase urgently needed protective equipment and supplies.

Here’s what you need to know:

  1. FEMA AFG received $100M in stimulus funding under the CARES Act.
  2. Included in this stimulus is personal protective equipment (PPE) for the COVID-19 response efforts.
  3. A new AFG application period will be opening soon.
  4. Please be on the lookout for that announcement which will include additional details.

As we learn more about this funding and when FEMA plans to open up for applications, we will keep you posted. First Responder Grants is available to help your department navigate applying for these special grant funds:

FEMA Releases Updated Resilience Analysis and Planning Tool (RAPT)

At-a-glance evaluation of demographics and infrastructure

NIMS Alert 07-20: FEMA Releases Updated Resilience Analysis and Planning Tool

FEMA released expanded capabilities to the Resilience Analysis and Planning Tool (RAPT), including census tract data and additional infrastructure layers for all state, local, tribal and territorial jurisdictions across the nation. This update to the tool enables a more granular analysis of community resilience indicators and allows users to calculate the population of individuals with specific indicator characteristics in selected census tracts.

Jurisdictions at all levels, other federal agencies, the private sector, and nongovernmental organizations can use RAPT to inform strategies for preparedness, response and recovery activated related to the coronavirus pandemic and other disasters. The tool is a free-to-use Geographic Information System (GIS) webmap tool that allows users to combine layers of community resilience indicators, infrastructure locations, and hazard data to visualize, prioritize and implement strategies to impact resilience, response, and recovery.

The updated RAPT provides important census-tract level demographic information and infrastructure locations related to coronavirus pandemic planning and response efforts. This includes the location and size of infrastructure entities such as hospitals, nursing homes, urgent care facilities, public health departments, and pharmacies; population count and demographics of individuals within a containment zone (e.g. over age 65, disability, educational attainment); and visualization tools.

The RAPT is publicly available at:

https://bit.ly/ResilienceAnalysisandPlanningTool

Supporting documents for RAPT, including an overview document, user guide and information about the data layers and sources, can be found at:

https://www.fema.gov/de/media-library/assets/documents/176618

The National Integration Center will host three 60-minute training webinars over the next two weeks, starting on April 2, to provide additional background on the RAPT, demonstrate multiple capabilities and answer questions from RAPT users. Webinars are open to all.

Advance registration is not required, but space is limited to 150 participants per webinar. Real-time captioning will be available. To participate, please click on your preferred webinar session from the list below at the beginning of the webinar to begin and call the phone number provided:

Thursday, April 2, 12-1 p.m. ET
Participate: https://fema.connectsolutions.com/resilienceindicatorgis/
Audio Call-in: 202-795-3352. PIN: 253 361 211#

Tuesday, April 7, 3-4 p.m. ET
Participate: https://fema.connectsolutions.com/resilienceindicatorgis/
Audio Call-in: 202-795-3352. PIN: 253 361 211#

Thursday, April 9, 12-1 p.m. ET
Participate: https://fema.connectsolutions.com/resilienceindicatorgis/
Audio Call-in: 202-795-3352. PIN: 253 361 211#

For more information, please contact FEMA-TARequest@fema.dhs.gov.

Do this after you submit your grant application: Request Letters of Support

Letters of support

The Fund Finder News

By Kurt T. Bradley, Senior Grant Consultant, First Responder Grants

Congratulations, you submitted your grant! Once your application is in, though, there is still one thing left to do. It’s something you can—and should—do with any grant: request letters of support.

Application first, letters second

First off, notice I said you should do this after the grant was submitted. There is a reason for that.

Letters of Support need to be filed in your original grant file (especially in the case of large Federal grants such as the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program). Unless the grant provider has a grant number to associate that file and the Letter of Support, your letters will not make it into the file where they will be seen by the technical reviewers (provided that you scored well enough to warrant a technical review).

When you compose your request for a Letter of Support, be sure that your grant number, such as your 2019 AFG grant number is clearly noted. That way when it is received by AFG, they know exactly what file to put it into.

Who should you ask for letters of support?

First and foremost, ask all the Congressional Representatives from your state, both the US House of Representatives and US Senate.

Remember: This is not time to be partisan! Ask from Democrats as well as Republicans, and regardless of your like or dislike of politicians.

It’s always good to get a letter from your State Department of Homeland Security director.

If your grant is for communication equipment, request a letter from the Director of State DHS Emergency Interoperable Communications.

Also, it’s not a bad idea to ask for letter from your State Governor.

How to make contact

Now you know who you should ask for letters of support. But how do you know who these people are, and where do we find their mailing addresses?

And that’s right: mailing address. Not a phone number. Not texting. Not email. For everyone you want to contribute a letter of support about your grant, you’re going to send an actual letter.

Let me help you out as much as I can:

Copy this template: What to send in your letter of request

Here’s an example of what your letter of request should look like. We’ll use the FY 2019 AFG as an example, but you can copy, paste and customize this in your word processor to whatever grant you need it to reflect:

(Insert Date)

(Your Rank and Name)

(Your Department)

(Your Department’s Mailing Address)

(Your Direct Phone Number)

(Their Title and Name)

(Their Mailing Address)

RE: Letter of Support for 2019 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program

(Dear Mr./Ms./Representative/Senator/Governor LastNameHere)

The (Insert name of department, City, State) and our citizens, whom we are charged with protecting, respectfully requests a letter of support from your office in support of our recent grant application submitted on March 20,2020, to the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program offered by FEMA, a copy of which is attached.

This request is seeking $?????? in Federal share funding to acquire critically needed firefighting equipment necessary for us to ensure the health and safety of our firefighters and citizens that we protect and in response to compliance with the National Response Framework established by the Department of Homeland Security. 

This equipment is critical to our ability to be able to safely carry out our mission toward achieving those goals. The current state of the economy has caused our financial stability to falter. We, nor our citizens and your constituents, are financially able to afford the costs this project requires. Temporary outside Federal financial assistance is desperately needed. Your support of our efforts to secure this funding is humbly requested.

Our grant number assigned to his project is (grant number). We would greatly appreciate a letter of support from you be sent to the address below referencing our grant number and lending your support to this vital project in support of your constituency. 

The citizens and our department thank you for your time and support.

Respectfully,

(Your Name and Title)

The letter should be addressed and sent to:

DHS-FEMA-GPD
Attn: Chris Logan
Acting Assistant Administrator for Grant Programs
400 C Street S.W., 3N
Washington, D.C. 20472-3635

Once you write the letter

Once you’ve customized the letter above for your grant:

  • Print the letter on department letterhead
  • Sign the letter
  • Print out a complete copy of your grant from the online application
  • Put this letter on top of the grant request
  • Place the letter and grant request copy, unfolded, in a manila envelope and seal it.
  • Repeat as needed and mail to all those you addressed it to.

Seeking letters of support is a crucial final step that can make all the difference between rejection and winning a grant. Don’t forget this important last step! It’s something that all our past winners do—and you should also.

See you in the Winner’s Circle!

Coronavirus/COVID-19: Kingman, Arizona Grant-Writing Training rescheduled for Sept. 9–10, 2020

Given current concerns and recommendations about the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, we are monitoring our 2020 grant-writing training schedule. To do our part to protect everyone’s safety, we will reschedule trainings as needed.

Our training is Arizona is rescheduled as follows:

Lake Mohave Ranchos Fire District, Kingman, AZ

New date: Sept 9-10, 2020

Register

At this time other trainings continue as scheduled. For registered students, we’ll be reaching out to you individually if there are changes to other trainings.

Want training but without the travel?

Our online training is always available:

Winning AFG: Online Grant Training. Remember: FY 2019 AFG application deadline has been extended to Mar. 20!

Writing Public Safety Grants: Online Grant Training

Questions? Please contact us

Stay safe out there… and wash your hands. Thank you for all you are doing during this time to protect yourselves and our communities.

What to do when you need a grant writer but don’t have one

Public safety grant writing services for agencies like yours

Don’t want to write a grant?

The reality is simple: Not every department or agency can maintain their own in-house grant writer.

Don’t have a grant writer? We have a full contingent of grant writers available to handle the tasks of writing your grant from start to finish.

Every grant program, department, organization, and community is different. Let’s talk about your needs and challenges, then we can present you with a FREE quote.

Learn more

Respond to wildland fires for populations under 10,000? This fire grant is just for you

2 wildland firefighters spray water on a wildland fire

FY2020 Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) Grant Program

Respond to wildland fires for populations under 10,000? The FY2020 Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) Grant Program fire grant is just for you.

50/50 matching wildland fire grants to Fire Departments serving populations under 10,000

For Fire Service Organizations protecting populations under 10,000, the USDA and US Forestry Service (USFS) has a special fire grant program just for you.

With an FY 2020 budget of $18 million, the Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) grant program funds 50/50 matching grants for volunteer and combination fire departments. Eligible programs include:

  • Equipment procurement for wildland firefighting
  • Firefighter training
  • Planning and preparedness activities

Detail, deadlines, and other requirements may vary by state. To learn more and apply for a VFA grant:

Remember: 6 police grants close soon

Major DoJ/COPS programs open now

March is a big month for police grants!

6 major Federal programs are open during March, but application periods close soon:

DoJ 2020 COPS Hiring Program (CHP), apply by Mar. 11, 2020

DoJ 2020 Community Policing Development (CPD) Microgrants Program, apply by Mar. 11, 2020

COPS Community Policing Development (CPD) Program, apply by Mar. 31, 2020

COPS Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act (LEMHWA) Program, apply by Mar. 31, 2020

COPS Preparing for Active Shooter Situations (PASS) Program, apply by Mar. 31, 2020

COPS Tribal Resources Grant Program – Technical Assistance (TRGP-TA) Program, apply by Mar. 31, 2020