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It is always challenging to maintain a fleet of vehicles, no matter the size of your police department. Recruiting new officers, training police, and implementing new technology make purchasing new vehicles difficult due to conflicting budget priorities.
Grants of up to millions of dollars are available each year to help fund police equipment, training, and even K-9 units. These grants allow law enforcement agencies to purchase new vehicles, upgrade older models, and install technology in their vehicles.
You may be able to apply for grants to cover the cost of purchasing new police vehicles. Your agency could be awarded funding to expand or upgrade its fleet if you apply with some creative thinking, strategically write about your needs and match them with the grant agency’s purpose.
Police officers can raise funds through Walmart Community Grants, and Walmart will match the funds with a grant. As a result, if your group raises $5,000 for new vehicles, Walmart will match it with $5,000. Walmart awards 70,000 to 80,000 matching grants each year on average. Groups can apply during the year since there are no deadlines.
SWAT teams receive NTOA grants specifically to purchase vehicles and equipment that they would not otherwise be able to afford. A team from the NTOA must be in place before one can apply for a grant. A donation of equipment is being offered; no money will be distributed. The grant authority will deliver equipment & vehicles directly to the police department.
A state or local law enforcement agency must be located in any of the following states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Texas, Vermont, and Washington to use the Border Enforcement Grants Program. There are normally 10,000 to 12,000 grants awarded each year by the grant, totaling $32 million. It is intended to assist police and law enforcement officers in performing their tasks within their jurisdictions. In addition to vehicles, the grants can be used to purchase equipment and provide training.
USDA Rural Development offers vehicle loans and grants to public entities, including municipalities, counties, and others living in rural areas with a population of 20,000 or less. To determine the grant assistance expected for a particular project, the median household income of the service area and the number of people in the community where the vehicle is located, along with the availability of grant funds, are taken into account. In most cases, grant-funded projects are highly prioritized and come with much leverage with other grant and loan funds. Grant assistance may range from 10 percent to 75 percent of eligible project costs. The funding limits for grants are determined by population and income, economic feasibility, and financial availability.
The Department of Energy announced a $35 million grant to support small businesses that pursue scientific, clean energy, and climate solutions. Funds will support 158 projects in 29 states that will work to develop a wide range of clean energy technologies, including climate research tools and improved batteries for electric vehicles.
In its Clean Cities Coalition framework, this agency has several funding options at its disposal. Each major metropolitan region within the United States has its own coalition. Contact the Clean Cities Coordinator nearest you for funding information and to discuss your project needs.
In many police departments, new alternative fuel and electric vehicles are replacing aging vehicles. Consider applying for funding if your agency is considering this option from the US Department of Energy.
Private Funding Sources
There have been several corporate and private foundations that have supported police equipment requests. It is more likely that your application will be considered if your agency is within their geographical area of operation or if your requests fall within their current priority focus.
Automobile manufacturers and rental car companies, such as Ford, Toyota, and Hertz, and some of the nation’s largest insurance companies and car rental firms, provide grants for safety and law enforcement programs and community development programs. You can also request grants from law enforcement trade groups such as The Spirit of Blue Foundation so that you can support your in-car equipment and training needs.
There are hundreds of community foundations across the country that provide funding for non-profits and government agencies that support the well-being of their communities. The Foundation Center can help you determine which community foundations operate in your area. Inquire about the Community Foundation’s willingness to support your request for a police vehicle or in-car equipment after locating a contact.
Are you interested in learning more about different grants and programs that can help you with your living situation? Check out the rest of Gov Relations’ blog section today!