Justice Department Releases over $320 Million for Hiring LE Officers, Improving School Safety, Combating Illicit Drug Distribution

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department announced Friday that the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) and the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) have released over $320 million in grant solicitations for programs that advance community policing, keep school students safe, and combat the production and distribution of illegal drugs.

“The Justice Department is committed to providing our state, local, Tribal, and territorial law enforcement partners with the resources they need to keep our communities safe,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “With these funds, the Department is supporting law enforcement agencies, as well as the residents they serve, by increasing their capacity to disrupt illegal drug trafficking, hire officers committed to using best practices to serve their communities, and keep children safe in school.”

“These grants represent our commitment to provide law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve with critical resources to make our communities safer for everyone that lives, works, and plays in them,” said Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta.

The announced solicitations include $156.5 million available for the COPS Hiring Program (CHP), a competitive award program intended to reduce crime and advance public safety through community policing by providing direct funding for the hiring of career law enforcement officers. Anticipated outcomes of the CHP program awards include increased engagement in community partnerships, implementation of projects that focus on prioritized crime issues impacting communities, implementation of changes to personnel and agency management in support of community policing, and increased capacity of agencies to implement comprehensive community policing plans that build trust and reduce crime. All local, state, Tribal, and territorial law enforcement agencies that have primary law enforcement authority are eligible to apply.

Funding also includes $53 million for the School Violence Prevention Program (SVPP). This program provides funding to improve security at schools and on school grounds in the grantees’ jurisdictions through evidence-based school safety programs. Awards will be provided directly to eligible state, local, Tribal, and territorial partners. Recipients of SVPP funding must use funding for the benefit of K-12, primary, and secondary schools and students.

The Department’s Office of Justice Programs — through its Bureau of Justice Assistance and Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention — also released almost $64.7 million in solicitations to support violence prevention and response efforts in schools through the STOP School Violence Act. More information about OJP’s grants can be found at https://www.ojp.gov/funding.       

There is also $15 million available for the COPS Anti-Methamphetamine Program (CAMP) and $35 million for the COPS Anti-Heroin Task Force (AHTF) Program. The 2022 COPS Anti-Methamphetamine Program is a competitive grant program that advances public safety by providing funds directly to state law enforcement agencies to investigate illicit activities related to the manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine. AHTF is a competitive grant program that provides funding to state law enforcement agencies in states with high per capita levels of primary treatment admissions for heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil, and other opioids. These funds will be used for drug enforcement including investigations and activities related to the distribution of heroin and other opioids or the unlawful diversion and distribution of prescription opioids.

Additional information on these programs, as well as information on how to apply, can be found at https://cops.usdoj.gov/grants.

The COPS Office is the federal component of the Department of Justice responsible for advancing community policing nationwide. The only Department of Justice agency with policing in its name, the COPS Office was established in 1994 and has been the cornerstone of the nation’s crime fighting strategy with grants, a variety of knowledge resource products, and training and technical assistance. Through the years, the COPS Office has become the go-to organization for law enforcement agencies across the country and continues to listen to the field and provide the resources that are needed to reduce crime and build trust between law enforcement and the communities served. The COPS Office has invested more than $14 billion to advance community policing, including grants awarded to more than 13,000 state, local and Tribal law enforcement agencies to fund the hiring and redeployment of more than 135,000 officers.

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