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Police Grants 101: How and Which One to Apply

Police and Fire Grants

Now, more than ever, police departments need grants and funding to drive service delivery within the critical sectors. This follows the nationwide trend by several authorities to approve police budget deduction. At least 13 cities across the United
States moved to defund their police departments as of August 2020, following the more than a month of BlackLivesMatters protests that hit the country.

Of all the 13 cities that announced some cuts in police budgets, Austin had the highest budget cut of $150 million, representing a third of the police budget allocation. New York approved a $1 billion cut from its 2021 $ 88.9 billion budget, while Los Angeles slashed $ 150 million from its $1.86 billion police budget. San Francisco, Oakland, and Washington DC were among the other cities that saw an implementation following the “Defund the Police” movement.

While these cuts in police budgets were met with political prejudice, the changes made have been mostly modest, considering the government’s shrinking revenue and the need to prioritize public safety amidst the COVID pandemic.

That said, these budget deductions will certainly affect some sections of service delivery by law enforcement; however, there are police grants and aids to help offset the deficit.

Types of Police Grants

There are four main types of grants that police departments can apply to support service delivery and fund various department operations. These are:

  • Competitive Funding – Funding is based on the application’s merits, and the recipients are known once the evaluation is done. An example is the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program.
  • Formula Funding – These are police grants given to pre-determined recipients using some formula; hence they are non-competitive. An example is the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG).
  • Pass-through Funding – Here, funds from the federal governments are passed on to state governments to be further allocated to local authorities. Disbursement can be based either on open competitions or formula funding. An example is the Federal Safe Routes to School Program.
  • Continuation Funding – This is a continuous police grant funding program given to the existing grantees only. Some police grant programs under continuous funding often invite new applicants. An example is the Drug-Free Communities Support program.

Police Grants to Apply For

Formula funding is one of the best grant programs every police department should apply for since there are no merits or a competitive selection process. The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG), for example, is awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) to both the states and local governments.

JAG is meant for the improvement of the criminal justice system, particularly on violent crimes. These police grants can be used to support:

  • Law enforcement programs
  • Crime prevention, prosecution, and court programs
  • Drug treatment and community corrections programs
  • Planning, evaluation, and technology improvements programs

As of 2019, the DOJ prioritized projects that seek to:

  1. Reduce violent crimes
  2. Promote officer safety and wellness
  3. Uphold security efforts along the US southwest border
  4. Fight opioid epidemic

Eligibility and Award

Every year, public agencies, including state and local governments, are invited to apply for the JAG program. Applications are often due in August (can vary by state), and the awards are distributed in the fall months. For state and large-sized municipalities, direct
allocations of the police grants occur in June every year.

In 2019, for example, the following police departments that are part of the Panasonic Grant Support Program benefited from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program:

  • Kern County Sheriff was awarded $159,863
  • Delano PD was awarded $17,122
  • Colton PD was awarded $15,061

To access police grants in your department, you’ll need to keep up with the grants application news and updates so, you don’t miss any crucial event. You can also benefit a lot by joining the police grants support program. The latter provide police grants information, funder research, and customized consultation necessary to develop project ideas and get the tech-rich projects funded.


Police grants are not only limited to formula funding. Browse the various grant programs offered to eligible public sector agencies to know the grant options available for your department. To learn more about police grant programs, and even get help with the application process, contact the Panasonic Grant Support Team.