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DOJ Grants Can be Won – A Great Example on How That Happens

Don Gemeinhardt
December 15, 2020

You might not realize it, but schools and organizations can obtain safety funding through the DOJ (Department of Justice) COPS (Community Oriented Policing Services) School Violence Prevention Program (SVPP) grants. These funding sources can specifically help meet school safety and community collaboration needs for areas that include emergency response, threat assessment, climate change, and even bullying issues at your schools.

While COPS grants are competitive and require the Awardee to pay 25% of the total award, these grants have shown to be a reliable way of ensuring your schools continue to have very effective programs funded, even now. Wayzata Public Schools did just that this year in being awarded almost 68,000 dollars. The secret to their winning the funding was a clear description of their needs that directly related to the requirements under the (SVPP) initiative from COPS that not only funds technology to help with school safety, but also basic safety equipment.

In their proposal, Wayzata Public Schools very clearly defined their need to finish funding for their site radios and implement technology that would allow them to establish a Student Threat Assessment program. The district’s deliberate approach and well-thought-out planning demonstrated their desire to sustain an effort to strategically bolster internal response and awareness capabilities. The district expanded their safety planning even further to their training and implementation for their remaining elementary schools and personnel. Their plan was to leverage CrisisGo’s Student Threat Assessment system, in addition to safety resources like the upgraded radios, to the entire district and the local responders. It was clear from their proposal that the district sought to strategically improve school safety and take advantage of safety technology to secure their district through improved emergency planning, emergency response, situational awareness, and safety drills. The thoroughness of their safety vision in the proposal perfectly matched many of the requirements the COPS grant wanted to see. 

One of the most important factors in the school district’s application was that they clearly described what they have done so far and how their sustainable efforts have impacted their safety programs and behavior climate at their schools. This includes activities like a Run, Hide, Fight exercise that was made into a video; annual training of all faculty, administrators, and support personnel; building safety drills that involve everyone; and including responders in their safety protocols to make sure they meet state, city, and district expectations.

Don’t forget that while a grant does take some time in writing, and the process can be made easier with the right tactics and approach. Remember, all grant agencies want to see not only what you will do with the funding, but how the use of the funding will work for your organization to sustain your safety efforts in the future. In challenging times like these, COPS grants present another great opportunity for funding safety improvements and demonstrating your district’s efforts to help strengthen the safety of the community. It is quite possible to capture these kinds of safety funding opportunities, and CrisisGo is ready to offer the teamwork needed to succeed.

If you’d like to learn more about Wayzata Public Schools’  journey through the COPS grant application process and how they’re utilizing funds to implement Student Threat Assessments, take a look at their Client Success Story.

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