The Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) today announced grant awards totaling over $37 million to support evidence-based law enforcement strategies designed to build trust with communities and improve public safety. The grants, made by OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and National Institute of Justice (NIJ), will support partnerships between researchers and law enforcement professionals, fund body-worn camera programs and underwrite research and evaluation projects that examine promising police practices.
“Public safety requires public trust and the Justice Department is committed to supporting law enforcement programs that increase trust with communities,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “Today’s investment of $37 million builds on the department’s wide-ranging efforts to advance evidence-based innovations in policing throughout the country.”
The Justice Department’s Comprehensive Strategy for Reducing Violent Crime articulates a commitment to an approach that is grounded in research and consistent with our values as a nation. The strategy emphasizes that confidence in police and policing is essential to the safety of our communities. The awards announced today will enable state and local law enforcement agencies to work closely with researchers to address chronic public safety problems in their jurisdictions. Grants will also help develop body-worn camera programs that maximize transparency and accountability in order to build trust with communities. Research grants will support randomized controlled trials and other analyses that explore de-escalation tactics, procedural justice strategies and other issues.
“A safe and just society is possible only when our law enforcement partners and our communities share a common trust and mutual respect,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Amy L. Solomon for OJP. “These investments will equip our police professionals with the latest knowledge, tools and information to do their jobs safely, fairly and effectively in the service of greater public safety and stronger bonds with the people they serve.”
Below is a summary of these programs:
- BJA is awarding more than $27.4 million under its Body-Worn Camera Policy and Implementation Program to Support Law Enforcement Agencies, which provides funding to law enforcement agencies seeking to purchase body-worn cameras and to establish or expand comprehensive programs focused on maximizing the benefits of this technology and minimizing its risks.
- BJA is awarding $6.4 million under its Smart Policing Initiative, which helps to establish police-researcher partnerships; test promising crime prevention, response and reduction practices; improve police accountability and build law enforcement agencies’ capacity to analyze and use crime intelligence and data; implement and test justice information-sharing technology; and evaluate the effectiveness of these approaches.
- NIJ is awarding almost $3.3 million under its Research and Evaluation on Policing portfolio, which supports proposals for rigorous research and evaluation projects that address the re-allocation of resources and police operations and functions; police use of force and de-escalation tactics and strategies; and tactics and strategies that strengthen police-community relationships.
Once the awards are made, information about the grantees selected under each solicitation can be found online at the OJP Grant Awards Page.
OJP provides federal leadership, grants, training, technical assistance and other resources to improve the nation’s capacity to prevent and reduce crime, advance racial equity in the administration of justice, assist victims and enhance the rule of law. More information about OJP and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov.