Justice launches $8M smart policing grant program
State, local, tribal and campus law enforcement agencies can apply for funds to develop, implement and test new technologies that support community violence intervention and promote information sharing and data transparency.
To address the rising crime rates and insufficient resources challenging effective policing, the Justice Department is launching an $8 million grant program to support state, local, tribal and campus law enforcement agencies developing tech- and data-enabled solutions.
The Bureau of Justice Assistance's Smart Policing Initiative grant program focuses on evidence-based data and technology practices to reduce crime and improve the criminal justice system, the notice of funding stated.
The grant program includes three categories, the first of which will help law enforcement agencies develop and test technologies that enhance data sharing, data transparency and crime analysis.
According to the funding notice, BJA is particularly interested in web-based dashboards and online portals that track criminal activity affecting businesses and neighborhoods. With these tools, agencies may facilitate the crowdsourcing of evidence and intelligence collection.
Agencies should also consider practices, mechanisms and processes to integrate technology systems, which will be a “force multiplier” for law enforcement investigations and operations, as well as tools that promote social network and geospatial analysis.
Another program category will support agencies’ community violence intervention initiatives. Law enforcement can play a large role in CVI programs by providing crime data, including where and when incidents occur and who may be involved, according to the announcement. Social services agencies and community-based partners can then use this information to craft data-driven solutions that create a holistic approach to violence intervention.
Funds for the third category will go toward innovative projects aimed at overcoming common law enforcement issues such as drug- and violence-related incidents and community mistrust. For example, BJA suggests agencies can create crime analyst task forces that include multiagency staff, not just sworn personnel.
BJA plans to fund 10 projects , and the program will operate for 36 months. The deadline to apply is May 1.