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Law enforcement and public safety grants

To support law enforcement and public safety projects, federal agencies provide three types of funding to state, local, and private agencies and organizations: Formula (or Block), Discretionary, and Congressional Earmarks. Most of these grant funds are dispersed through Formula grant programs and Congressional Earmarks. Information about each of these is provided below.

Formula (or Block)

  • Awarded to State and local governments based on a predetermined formula, which may be based on a jurisdiction's crime rate, population, or other factors.
  • Awarded to agencies in each State designated by the governor. These agencies are called State Administering Agences (SAA).
  • Generally requires States to pass awards to local agencies and organizations via subgrants.

Discretionary

  • Awarded on a competitive basis to public and private nonprofit organizations.
  • Funding ranges from single awards for research, evaluation, and technical assistance to multisite awards for program development.

Congressional Earmarks

  • Hard Earmarks: Congress directs the Federal agency to provide certain funds to specific programs it has identified.
  • Soft Earmarks: Congress identifies a program and directs the Federal agency to:
    • Evaluate the program.
    • Fund the program, if warranted.

Federal agencies that award law enforcement and public safety grants are shown below.

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