Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG)
The purpose of AFG is to meet firefighting and emergency response needs of fire departments and nonaffiliated emergency services organizations. Firefighters and other first responders may use these grants to obtain critically needed communications equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources. Find out more here.
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and Public Safety Funding
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA, also known as the economic stimulus package) was signed into law by President Obama on February 17, 2009. The Recovery Act provides an unprecedented influx of funding for law enforcement agencies. Although more than $2.5 billion in ARRA funding is available, understanding how to obtain funding, how it can be used, and which projects will best serve your community or agency can be daunting. We have developed this page to help you navigate through some funding options.
ARRA funding for public safety
Grant programs as a result of ARRA include:
DHS Announces Nearly $1.8 Billion in Fiscal Year 2009 Preparedness Grants: U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano announced nearly $1.8 billion in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) preparedness grants designed to help states, urban areas, tribal governments and non-profit agencies improve their readiness by enhancing protection, prevention, response and recovery capabilities for all disasters. Secretary Napolitano was joined by FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate in announcing the grants. Read more here.
Firefighter Assistance Grants: $210 million is available through this FEMA program. Its purpose is to meet firefighting and emergency response needs of fire departments and nonaffiliated emergency services organizations. Firefighters and other first responders may use these grants to obtain critically needed communications equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources. Find out more here.
SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response): $190 million is available through this grant program, which was created to provide funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter organizations to help them increase the number of trained, "front-line" firefighters available in their communities. Find out more here.
COPS Interoperable Communications Technology Program: This US Department of Justice program provides funding to help communities develop effective interoperable communications systems for public safety and emergency services providers. COPS has awarded more than $250 million to 65 communities to improve their interoperable communications systems.
Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) Grant Program: $15 million is available in this FEMA program. UASI provides funding support for target-hardening activities to nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of terrorist attack and are located within one of the specific UASI-eligible Urban Areas. For more information visit the FEMA web page.
Assistance to Rural Law Enforcement to Combat Crime and Drugs: A “rural area” is defined as a jurisdiction that is not located in a metropolitan statistical area (MSA), as defined by the Office of Management and Budget or any jurisdiction located in an MSA, but in a county or tribal jurisdiction that has a population less than 50,000. Read more about this program on the BJA website.
State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance Program: Combating Criminal Narcotics Activity Stemming from the Southern Border of the United States Competitive Grant Announcement: Eligible applicants are state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies located in the Southern border region, or authorized state, local or tribal law enforcement agencies applying on behalf of High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas. Goods and services that can be purchased include surveillance and tracking equipment.
Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistant Grant (JAG) Program: There are separate programs for state and local agencies, and the state governors are required to certify the use of funds. Byrne grants are competitive and there is a strict application process. Visit the DOJ website to learn more about funding available in your area.
In addition to the ARRA, there are Public Safety Interoperable Communications (PSIC) grants available to public safety agencies. The PSIC Grant Program is a one-time grant opportunity to enhance interoperable capabilities with respect to voice, data, and/or video and encourage the use of innovative cost- and spectrum-efficient technology solutions. The NTIA (within the US Department of Commerce) administers the program. More information is available on the NTIA website.
Obtaining grant funding for your agency
Here are a few tips for obtaining grant funding:
Understand how your project fits into the federal, state and regional priorities.
Show the benefits of your project, for example upgrading your communications to the standard for interoperability or compliance with the narrowband mandate. Identify the problem and the solution. Know your state plans and establish a relationship at state administrative agencies.
Demonstrate that you will use the grant money responsibly.
Be patient. The grant process can be lengthy. Have ready answers for questions and be upfront with information.
How we can help
Public safety officials in today’s economic climate need to be increasingly mindful of how tax dollars are spent and to obtain the best value for the money. Funding must go further than ever before. Our value proposition is simple. We allow you to put more radios into the hands of your first responders and help keep your citizens safe. EF Johnson Technologies radios have passed numerous interoperability tests on government facilities, in independent laboratories, and even at the headquarters of our biggest competitor. Our radios deploy the second-generation AMBE+2 Project 25 Vocoder for loud, clear digital audio that first responders require. Look closely at your radio supplier - where are their radios manufactured? EF Johnson Technologies radios are made in the USA.
Spend your grant money wisely. To learn more, contact us.