Justice Department Awards Over $33 Million in Grants to Advance Community Policing Efforts Across the Country
(STL.News) The Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) today announced over $33 million in funding to advance the practice of community policing in law enforcement. Community Policing Development (CPD) program funds are used to support promising practices through the development and testing of innovative strategies; building knowledge about effective practices and outcomes; and supporting new, creative approaches to preventing crime and promoting safe communities.
“Keeping communities safe requires building relationships and increasing trust between law enforcement and those they serve,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “The wide range of programs these funds will support – from de-escalation training and anti-bias efforts to technical assistance and accreditation programs – are critical to achieving our public safety goals. It is particularly meaningful to announce these awards during National Community Policing Week, which recognizes the importance of community policing and the positive results we can achieve when law enforcement and community members work together.”
In proclaiming Oct. 3-9 as National Community Policing Week, the Biden Administration emphasized its continuing efforts to both support the facilitation of police-community relationship building and to keep the community at the heart of everything that the nation’s law enforcement agencies do on a daily basis.
Highlights of the 2021 CPD funding include:
Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT). Over $9 million will go toward expansion of the use of crisis intervention teams to embed mental and behavioral health services with law enforcement.
Tolerance, Diversity, and Anti-Bias Training. Over $1.7 million will be used for the creation and delivery of tolerance, diversity and anti-bias training for law enforcement officers.
De-escalation Training. Approximately $13 million will support the creation and delivery of national level de-escalation training efforts, as well as state and local law enforcement agency efforts to build and maintain their officers’ de-escalation proficiency.
COPS Microgrants. More than $2.7 million will support COPS Microgrants demonstration or pilot projects in local agencies. These are projects that offer creative ideas to advance crime fighting, community engagement, problem solving or organizational changes to support community policing.
Accreditation. Over $3.8 million will be used to expand accreditation programs and assist agencies with gaining accreditation to ensure compliance with national and international standards, covering all aspects of law enforcement policies, procedures, practices and operations.
Also announced today is an additional $2 million dedicated to continuing the COPS Office Collaborative Reform Initiative Technical Assistance Center (CRI-TAC). CRI-TAC provides a continuum of technical assistance services to the law enforcement field to increase accountability and build trust between police and the communities they serve; improve effectiveness and efficiency in agency operations; enhance officer safety and wellness; and widely share practices that are evidence-based, promising, innovative and representative of national standards.
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 134,000 officers.