Government Technology

Stimulus Package Offers Challenging Opportunities for Law Enforcement

February 4, 2009 By

The economic stimulus package being developed in Congress offers both challenges and opportunities for law enforcement agencies, an analysis by Galain Solutions indicates.

While the recession puts the squeeze on state budgets, one study indicates 63 percent of local police departments anticipate cutting their budgets, 44 percent of those surveyed believed crime was on the rise due to the economic crisis.

There are several funding sources available to help departments deal with this challenge, but they have to know what they want and be prepared to roll it out quickly. And that can be tricky, the study's author, Rick Wimberly, president of Galain Solutions, writes.

The House version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 includes a $79 billion State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, which contains $30 billion that could be spent on public safety at governors' discretion.

The bill contains another $4 billion specifically for the Byrne and Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant programs which can be spent on developing technologies that emphasize crime prevention. According to Wimberly's analysis, 50 percent of COPS grants have been reserved for organizations serving populations of 150,000 or less. COPS grants are expected to be awarded 90 days after the passage of the stimulus bill.

And while the smaller states and communities will get significant funds and requirements for matching funds are likely to be waived, the influx of such a large amount of money and the requirement that it be spent quickly, along with strict oversight processes being predicted, state and local agencies will face challenges including managing the scale and scope of applications received and implementing projects in time.

Examples of technologies past COPS grants have funded include geospatial crime analysis tools, automated notification systems and computer-aided dispatch. Public safety communications networks could benefit from $2.8 billion allocated to broadband build-out as well.

Wimberly observes that local agencies will need to move quickly and creatively to ramp up hiring programs for police officers that have been scaled back in recent years.

Now is the time for agencies to draw up their grant proposals, even though the guidelines are not completely finalized, Wimberly noted. And prepare for increased oversight. Even though there will be pressure to move quickly, Washington will be looking to see that the money is spent intelligently. Plus, local procurement rules won't be waived just because the money is coming from the federal government, he said. And finally, all parties should expect intense competition for funds. "Credible stories and strong solutions will be at a premium," Wimberly advised. "It will be important for vendors to stick to fundamentals - good solutions, strong service, solid relationships with buyers, and more importantly, integrity."

| More


Add Your Comment

You are solely responsible for the content of your comments. We reserve the right to remove comments that are considered profane, vulgar, obscene, factually inaccurate, off-topic, or considered a personal attack.

In Our Library

White Papers | Exclusives Reports | Webinar Archives | Best Practices and Case Studies
McAfee Enterprise Security Manager and Threat Intelligence Exchange
As a part of the Intel® Security product offering, McAfee® Enterprise Security Manager and McAfee Threat Intelligence Exchange work together to provide organizations with exactly what they need to fight advanced threats. You get the situational awareness, actionable intelligence, and instantaneous speed to immediately identify, respond to, and proactively neutralize threats in just milliseconds.
Better security. Better government.
Powering security at all levels of government with simpler, more connected IT.
Cybersecurity in an "All-IP World" Are You Prepared?
In a recent survey conducted by Public CIO, over 125 respondents shared how they protect their environments from cyber threats and the challenges they see in an all-IP world. Read how your cybersecurity strategies and attitudes compare with your peers.
View All

Featured Papers