Governor Abbott Announces ALERRT Travel Assistance, Bullet-Resistant Shield Grant Program
(STL.News) – Governor Greg Abbott announced the Governor’s Public Safety Office (PSO) is accepting applications from law enforcement agencies for Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) travel assistance and the Bullet-Resistant Shield Grant Program for fiscal year 2023. In June, the Governor and Texas legislative leaders transferred $105.5 million to support additional school safety and mental health initiatives, including $3 million for local law enforcement agencies to offset travel expenditures for ALERRT training and $50 million for bullet-resistant shields.
“The State of Texas is working to ensure our law enforcement partners across the state are able to protect our children, teachers, and schools as the new school year begins,” said Governor Abbott. “These new funds will give law enforcement officers expanded access to training for active shooter scenarios, as well as critical protective equipment. I encourage all eligible law enforcement agencies and local government entities to apply for this additional funding as we work together to keep all Texans safe.”
ALERRT is designed to equip first responders with effective strategies to respond to active attack events. The ALERRT training is provided by veteran first responders with proven experience in active attack response and has served more than 200,000 first responders across the nation. Throughout Texas this summer, ALERRT has trained more than 3,000 officers, delivered dozens of classes, and is in the process of scheduling more than 100 classes in the coming months.
Applications for ALERRT travel assistance are open to independent school districts, institutions of higher education, units of local government, and other educational institutions that operate law enforcement agencies employing peace officers. Only after receiving confirmation of registration for an ALERRT course may applications for assistance be submitted. The final date to submit and certify an application is August 31, 2023.
Applications for grant funding to equip peace officers with bullet-resistant shields may be submitted by independent school districts, units of local government, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and other educational institutions that operate law enforcement agencies employing peace officers. The final date to submit and certify an application for priority consideration is September 16, 2022. Additional application periods may be opened as funding permits. All peace officers provided with a grant-funded ballistic shield must have either attended 16 hours of ALERRT training within the past 24 months or committed to attend within the next 24 months.
Law enforcement agencies and local units of government that are interested in learning more about the program can view the funding announcements here.
The Governor’s PSO administers federal and state grant funding to promote strategies that improve public safety, support victims of crime, prevent terrorism, and prepare communities for the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risk to Texans. For more information on PSO’s programs and operations, visit the Office of the Governor’s Public Safety Office website.
Governor Abbott has taken significant action to provide all available resources to support the Uvalde community following the tragic shooting at Robb Elementary School. Those actions include:
- Initiating the State of Texas’ comprehensive plan to assist and support members of the community, including co-locating state agency representatives to the Family Assistance Center for on-hand assistance in finding benefits.
- Investing an initial $5 million to establish a long-term Family Resiliency Center in Uvalde County to serve as a hub for community services, including access to critical mental health resources.
- Providing $1.25 million to Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District for trauma-informed counseling, crisis intervention, and community outreach.
- Working with the OneStar Foundation to create a one-stop webpage for donations to support the victims’ families, teachers, and the Uvalde community.
- Directing the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to ensure all children in Uvalde have access to behavioral health resources and community support.
- Providing $105.5 million to enhance school safety and mental health services in Uvalde and throughout Texas.
- Issuing a disaster declaration to accelerate all available state and local resources to assist the Uvalde community.
- Requesting Texas legislative leaders convene special legislative committees to begin examining and developing
- legislative recommendations on school safety, mental health, social media, police training, firearm safety, and more.
- Directing the Texas School Safety Center (TxSSC) to begin immediately conducting comprehensive school safety reviews to ensure all Texas public schools are following the appropriate procedures to maximize school safety.
- Directing the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to provide strategies to make Texas public schools safer through heightened safety standards.
- Instructing the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) programs to provide training to all school districts across the state, prioritizing school-based law enforcement.
- Directing TEA, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), and the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to expand and accelerate the ability to report suspicious activity through the iWatchTexas reporting system.
- Promoting awareness of iWatchTexas through a public safety announcement featuring “Walker, Texas Ranger” Chuck Norris.
- Directing TEA to create a new Chief of School Safety and Security position within the agency.
- Urging the Texas District & County Attorneys Association (TDCAA) to increase lie-and-try prosecutions of people who lie on information provided for gun background checks.
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