How to Write a Successful Police Grant Proposal

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The first step in grant writing for police equipment is to find the right grant for you. The second step is to sit down and write that winning proposal.

So, what should be included in your grant application?

We want to give you a few tips on successful grant writing to help your agency secure the in-car video system or body cameras you need.

The Essential Components of a Winning Proposal

Your grant proposals should be split into four categories: needs, approach, outcomes and future funding.

Needs

  • Describe the need addressed by your project (issues, events, threat assessments or vulnerabilities).
  • Include an independent justification for addressing the problem. Consider additional local, regional and state requirements driving the project.
  • Link to contextual drivers that support your desire to conduct the project now.

Approach

  • Describe the project concisely. Document the nature and scope of the project. Include any details that help explain your specific plans for the funding.
  • Highlight advantages to this project over alternative solutions. Discuss other approaches you have considered locally and why you chose the solution you did.

Outcomes

  • List anticipated benefits. Be sure to relate the outcomes to your initial discussion of needs. The more localized the better.
  • Include a chart detailing expected outcomes, suggested indicators, targets and timeframes. When possible, replace general outcomes with specific metrics you will report to the funder at the end of the funding period.

Future Funding

  • Describe your plan to ensure continued maintenance of the program.
  • Include specific plans to fund future rollout of additional modules, if needed.

Grant Tip: Always start with the grant guidance or program website to see if the funder has provided a specific application form or list of questions. If so, be sure to follow those directions fully and completely.

A Good Example of Grant Writing for Police

One of the best ways to learn how to write a grant proposal is to look at other successful grants from other law enforcement agencies.

This question was asked on a 2015 Body-Worn Camera Pilot Program:

Application Question: Demonstrate a full understanding of how officer complaints and use of force practices can be addressed by BWCs.

A great, winning answer was this:

The City continues struggling with growing civilian-police tensions. In 2014, 280 misconduct complaints were filed against Pittsburgh police officers. Allegations such as these fall into four categories: conduct unbecoming a member, conduct towards the public, warrantless searches and seizures, and use of force. Below, these numbers are broken down along with an estimate of whether a relatively new tool for police, Body-Worn Cameras (BWCs), would have been relevant to the investigation of these allegations, based on the presence of conflicting narratives between the officer and complainant in each case:

police complaint chart

BWC recordings, also referred to as Digital Multimedia Evidence (DME), serve as the best, most objective evidence of what actually happened during a reported incident. This can have substantial impact: the existence of BWC recordings will protect officers against fabricated accusations by civilians and perhaps most importantly for the City of Pittsburgh, incidents involving the use-of-force need no longer be the subject of competing stories. DME recordings will show whether use-of-force was warranted and proper procedures used. DME can also highlight instances when training or departmental policy would benefit from an overall change.

Related: 10 Grant Writing Tips for Maximizing Success

Grant Writing for Police: A Guide

Why was that such a great answer? In our grant-writing guide, we show you, point-by-point, why this answer was effective. We’ll also show you some not-so-great answers. Use the guide to help articulate your proposal.

Download our 2019 Grant Funding Guide

Need a budgetary quote to accompany your police grant application? Contact us today.