In times of crisis and danger, first responders fearlessly rush to the scene to keep people safe and resolve the issue at hand. There are many grants available for first responders, including grants for police, firefighters, and emergency medical staff.
Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Programs
These grant programs, administered through the U.S. Department of Justice, offer support for a variety of law enforcement needs. More specifically, there are seven programs offered through COPS. For each grant program, please visit the grant guidelines website for application due dates for the remainder of 2018 and 2019.
- COPS Hiring Program (CHP): The goal of this grant program is to provide police departments funding to “hire and re-hire entry-level career law enforcement officers.” This program allocates about $135 million per year for grants.
- Community Policing Development Program (CPD): This program provides grants for police training programs, projects for new policing strategies, and research that will improve police work on a national level. This program allocates about $11 million per year for grants.
- Preparing for Active Shooter Situations Program (PASS): As the program name suggests, this grant provides funding specifically to help police and other organizations prevent and prepare for active shooter situations. This program allocates about $7.5 million per year for grants.
- Anti-Heroin Task Force Program (AHTF): This grant provides funding to police departments that have existing anti-heroin task forces already in place. To be eligible, each department’s task force must serve multiple jurisdictions and have an interdisciplinary structure. This program allocates about $10 million per year for grants.
- COPS Anti-Methamphetamine Program (CAMP): This grant provides funding to state law enforcement agencies that have existing anti-methamphetamine programs in place, and funding must be used to investigate and curtail methamphetamine production and distribution activities. To be eligible, state law enforcement agencies must have a anti-methamphetamine program that serves multiple jurisdictions and has an interdisciplinary structure. This program allocates about $7 million per year for grants.
- Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS): Through this program, Native American tribes and Alaskan Native villages can submit a single application to apply for nine different grant programs. Some of the grant program focuses include improving community policing, hiring and re-hiring law enforcement officers, acquiring needed equipment, and implementing improved training programs for officers.
- Collaborative Reform Initiatives for Technical Assistance (CRI-TA): This program supports the technical assistance needs of state, local, and tribal police agencies in order to help improve procedures, increase public safety, improve community policing, and reduce criminal activity. This program allocates about $7 million per year for grants.
Police Dog Grant
This grant opportunity provides police departments with police dogs and dog-handler training. There are four programs offered through this grant:
- Single-Purpose Pit Bull Grant Program: This program provides Pit Bulls for narcotics and explosives police work. Pit Bulls for tracking purposes may also be available. There is not cost for dogs nor dog-handler training within this program.
- Veteran / GI Bill Grant Program: Under the GI Bill, Veterans receive a 2-week dog-handler course. All veterans are then eligible for a free single-purpose dog for narcotics and explosives detection. Those veterans who are already active police officers with police dog experience are also eligible for a free single or dual purpose bite dog.
- Single Purpose Narcotics Grant Program: This program provides non-Pit Bull dogs for narcotics and explosives police work. Both the dog and dog training are free, but recipients must pay for a 2-week single-purpose dog-handler course.
- Dual Purpose Police Dog Grant: This program provides German Shepherd, Belgian Mal, or Dutch Shepherd dogs for bite narcotics or explosives police work. Both the dog and dog training are free, but recipients must pay for a 2-week dual-purpose dog-handler course.
FEMA: Assistance to Firefighter's Grant
Fire departments, fire training academies, and nonaffiliated Emergency Medical Service agencies may apply for this grant, which offers funding to purchase resources essential for proactive and responsive first-responder work, such as equipment, vehicles, protective gear, and training. The program typically allocates a total of $300 million to this program and awards approximately 2,500 individual grants each year. Please review FEMA’s website for information on the next application cycle and due dates.
The Leary Firefighters Foundation
This grant program provides funding for equipment, technology, and training for U.S. fire departments. While this foundation primarily funds paid fire departments in New York, Massachucets, and Michigan, they recently also began considering grant applications from both paid and volunteer fire departments throughout the U.S. Grant awards usually range between $5,000 to $35,000. Letters of Inquiry (LOIs) are due by August 15th each year, and all LOIs must be submitted by either the fire department’s Chief or Chief of Training.
Emergency Medical Services / EMT Grants
The Duke Endowment
This grant offers funding to emergency medical service providers in North and South Carolina to help improve patient care in emergent situations. Proposed programs for funding must focus on one of the following three areas: standardizing data collection apparatuses, promoting improved EMS care standards, or acquiring improved equipment and training. From 2007 to 2012, the Duke Endowment has provided over $6 million in funding; individual grant amounts vary. Applications for this grant, housed under the main “Health Care” area of this endowment’s focus areas, is usually due June 15th and December 15th of each year.
Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH): Emergency Medical Services Assistance Fund Grant
Through this IDPH grant program, all Illinois licensed and based emergency medical service organizations operating in Illinois can apply for funding to purchase needed EMS resources. Grant amounts vary but are usually under $5,000 each. Applications are typically due in early April each year.
For All First Responders
Through their corporate giving program, Walgreens offers funding to help improve healthcare in the communities their business serves. The connecting focus and goal for all grant proposal areas within this program is improving human health. Non-profit first responder organizations can apply under the “access to health and wellness” and “emergency and disaster relief” focus sub-areas. Award amounts vary. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year.
Gary Sinise Foundation
Among the many causes close to the heart of actor Gary Sinese is helping police, firefighters, and EMTs acquire the resources they need to help save lives each day. The First Responders Outreach program provides funding for such resources. Award amounts vary for this grant program. Please visit the website above for updates on the application cycle and deadlines for this grant proram.
Chris Yarzab (Police)
Rob Swystun (Firefighters)
Paul Long (EMS)