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The 2017 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG)

The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) is the primary source of federal funding to law enforcement agencies. Named after Edward Byrne, a second generation New York City police officer who gave his life in the line of duty, the purpose of JAG is to prevent and reduce violent crime. A hallmark of the grant is the wide variety of justice-related programs it supports, from nurturing human potential to stop crime before it starts, to investing in the most sophisticated technology to abate it after it happens. Both states and local governments can receive the grant, but the state and local solicitations have two separate deadlines. Although the priorities for both are the same, the information below refers primarily to the local solicitation portion of the grant.

The Bulletproof Vest Partnership and More

Over 3,000! POLICE Magazine reports that is the number of lives saved since the seventies when the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) began developing performance standards for bulletproof vests. Although the risk of fatal injury is 14 times higher for law enforcement personnel who do not wear protective body armor than those who do, one-third of officers are still unprotected. The Department of Justice is helping to lower that number. Since 1999, it has assisted over 13,000 jurisdictions purchase over one million vests through its Bulletproof Vest Partnership Program (BVP).

Foundation Funding for First Responders

Even though first responders do some of the most important and dangerous work in the country, funding is often insufficient to meet their needs. Budget shortfalls can be a constant challenge and departments must become creative in finding the resources they need simply to do their jobs. Here are four private foundations that assist public safety agencies with equipment, training and other support, listed in alphabetical order.

The Second Chance Reentry Program for Adults with Co-Occuring Substance Abuse and Mental Health Disorders

With bipartisan support, the Second Chance Act (SCA) was signed into law on April 9, 2008, providing grants to help improve outcomes for people returning from incarceration. Since its inception, more than 700 awards have been made to help lower recidivism rates and improve community safety. Currently, there are eight programs funded under SCA, including the Second Chance Reentry Program for Adults with Co-Occuring Substance Abuse and Mental Health Disorders, which will provide approximately $650,000 for up to eight awards for programs to help those with co-occuring conditions seek the treatment they need for successful reentry.

The Body-Worn Camera Policy and Implementation Program

The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) has announced that the application period for the Body-Worn Camera Policy and Implementation Program is now open. Last year, over $20 million was provided to 106 tribal and municipal law enforcement agencies for body camera programs. This year, an estimated $17 million dollars is available.

Overcoming Interoperability - The NIST Public Safety Innovation Accelerator Program

Interoperability!. Chances are, it is a term we don’t think about too much.  It is defined as the ability of a system to work smoothly and reciprocally with the equipment in another system.  In  times of crisis, interoperability between  first responders is critical.  Unfortunately, in many areas of the country, emergency personnel do not have  access to the broadband and cutting edge technology that consumers do.  Congressman Donald Payne Jr., who serves as Ranking Member of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications, has asserted that enabling police, fire and medical services to use the same bandwidth in emergencies is among our biggest challenges.  Fortunately, there is a branch of The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the  Public Safety Communications Research Division (PSCR) whose purpose is to conduct research into overcoming obstacles to  interoperability among emergency systems.  They are currently offering the NIST Public Safety Innovation Acceleration Program to enhance the ability of public safety operations to protect the public through more sophisticated communication setups.


The Smart Policing Initiative 2017

Effective, efficient and economical: those are the key goals the U.S. Department of Justice has identified for the Smart Policing Initiative (SPI). As budgets tighten and personnel is reduced, police departments across the country are looking to maximize productivity more than ever. SMART, which stands for "strategically managed, analysis, research driven and technology based," is a new paradigm in law enforcement. The SPI helps to identify strategies and techniques to improve crime fighting, and ways they can be practically implemented and put into practice. This year, over $4 million dollars will be given to a maximum of seven awardees to further the advancement of smart policing.

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