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U.S. Department of Justice: Strategies for Policing Innovation

Deadline: May 21, 2018

Strategies for Policing Innovation (SPI) provides resources and opportunities to enable police agencies to identify and define their most pressing crime problems and institute lasting operational and organizational changes in their agencies that foster reliance on and effective use of evidence-based practices, data, and technology to address those problems.

Recipients of funding under the FY 2018 SPI program will test promising crime prevention, response, and reduction practices; implement evidence-based strategies; improve the effectiveness and efficiency of police agencies’ processes and procedures; and establish a system for evaluating their effectiveness. The objective of SPI is to identify, support, and test innovative tactics, practices, and strategies, as well as to explore new, research-based solutions to public safety problems. SPI documents the resulting, empirically tested best practices and lessons learned and widely disseminates them to the policing community to encourage the adoption of innovative and effective policing strategies nationwide. Applicants to SPI must create and implement an action plan that will enable them to evaluate and assess their methods and outcomes.

Applicants are advised that SPI grantees are required to work closely with the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and BJA’s competitively funded training and technical assistance (TTA) partner to participate in information-sharing sessions, facilitate peer-to-peer exchanges of information, access subject expertise that is relevant to specific SPI projects, and produce reports on the lessons learned from the SPI community.

Applicants may submit an application under the following purpose areas:

Purpose Area 1: Supporting Innovation. Applications are solicited from eligible entities interested in developing innovative, data-driven approaches to challenges currently confronting law enforcement agencies. Applicants will:

  • Describe the innovative, data-driven approach to be implemented
  • Create an action plan to evaluate the effectiveness of the approach, for which an applicant may engage a research partner to create the plan
  • Identify a specific violent crime problem to address
  • Develop a prevention, mitigation, or response strategy to address the problem
  • Evaluate the project
  • Assess and report the results to BJA, which will make the results publicly available

Applicants are strongly encouraged to focus on issues likely to be confronted by other law enforcement agencies in the United States. Examples of such issues include, but are not limited, to:

  • Innovative approaches to investigation of prescription and/or illegal drug overdose and deaths, especially as they relate to the identification of culpable distributors
  • Use of predictive analytics and approaches to address violent crime
  • Innovative approaches to engaging communities in crime prevention and reduction efforts, in particular, with emphasis on targeting criminal violent gangs
  • Effective approaches to increasing the investigative analytical capacity within a law enforcement agency
  • Innovative approaches to reducing chronic violent crime in a specific community
  • Innovative approaches that deal with violent offenders and are intended to decrease the risk of harm to first responders and increase officer safety

Purpose Area 2: Responding to Precipitous Increases in Crime. Applications are solicited from eligible entities that are experiencing precipitous or extraordinary increases in crime or in a type or types of crime within their jurisdictions, and propose to launch and test strategies that directly respond to these crime increases. Of particular interest to BJA are projects that propose to examine and respond to increases in violent crime. Strategies proposed under Purpose Area 2 may address the issues described in Purpose Area 1 of this solicitation. However, in order to be considered for an award under this Purpose Area 2, applicants must clearly identify how the applied-for funding will directly address a precipitous or extraordinary increase in crime in the applicant’s own jurisdiction. Applicants will:

  • Identify a crime that has precipitously increased within the jurisdiction.
  • Identify the period of time during which the crime or relevant category of crime increased and provide evidence substantiating the claimed increase. Examples of such evidence include statistics, research findings, or other objective evidence.
  • Describe the evidence-based and data-driven approach to be implemented to halt the identified crime’s increase and drive its reduction.
  • Utilize an action plan to evaluate the effectiveness of the approach. An applicant may engage a research partner for this purpose.
  • Develop a comprehensive response strategy to reduce and prevent the identified crime.
  • Evaluate the project.
  • Assess and report the results to BJA, which will make the results publicly available.

Amount: $3,500,000 is available for up to five awards of $700,000 each.

Eligibility: State, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies, governmental non-law enforcement agencies acting as their fiscal agent, federally recognized Indian tribal governments that perform law enforcement functions (as determined by the Secretary of the Interior), or tribal consortia consisting of two or more federally recognized Indian tribes (including tribal consortia operated as nonprofit organizations), acting as a fiscal agent for one or more tribal law enforcement agencies.

Link: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=302486

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