Surveillance cameras are among the tools law enforcement units across the United States and around the globe use to fight crime. It might surprise you to learn that there are several federal government agencies that sponsor grant programs that will cover the purchase and installation of surveillance cameras. Schools as well as state and local government and law enforcement agencies receive these grants that enable the setting up of video devices inside and outside of facilities, on street corners and in parks.
Justice Assistance Grants
Grants funded by the Department of Justice would allow the purchase of surveillance cameras and other equipment. The Justice Assistance Grant program awards grants to state and local government units to improve law enforcement agencies' abilities to investigate, arrest and prosecute criminals. The broad-based grants support program areas including education and prevention, prosecution and court, drug treatment and enforcement, and crime victim and witness initiatives. These are formula grants; amounts are based on several factors such as a state's share of the nation's population and violent crimes statistics. States receive 60 percent of the award amounts, while local units of government such as cities and towns get 40 percent.
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Homeland Security Grants
The Department of Homeland Security, DHS, funds grants to assist state and local government agencies in making neighborhoods safer for its citizens. Grants serve to build and sustain capabilities of government and law enforcement agencies to prepare, prevent and respond to terrorist attacks, crimes and other disasters. These grants cover surveillance cameras, equipment purchases and training programs. Four other grant programs comprise the Homeland Security grant program: the State Homeland Security Program, the Urban Areas Security Initiative, the Citizen Corps Program and the Metropolitan Medical Response System.
Public Safety Partnership and Community Policing Grants
The Department of Justice sponsors the Public Safety Partnership and Community Policing Grants program. Grants are awarded to state and local law enforcement agencies to implement programs assisting officers in preventing criminal and disorderly activities instead of reacting. This includes developing and supporting state-of-the-art training programs, and providing technical assistance to improve interaction and communication between law enforcement agencies and community members. These grants cover crime prevention initiatives, including equipment and technology purchases such as surveillance hardware, as part of community policing strategies.
Secure Our Schools Program
School districts across the United States apply for grants to cover surveillance camera purchases and installations in efforts to make their learning facilities safer. The Secure Our Schools Program, funded by the Community Oriented Policing Services, COPS, provides grants to cover cameras and other equipment purchases and implementing violence prevention programs to improve school safety. These school grants cover up to 50 percent of the project costs.