7 tips to win grants for officer training

PoliceOne.com recently published a great article offering advice on how to obtain grants for training. Funders want to see a well thought out plan of action, a community assessment for determining needs for training as well as full maximization of existing facilities. They also require you to complete a cost/benefit analysis of the existing and proposed training opportunities. So where do you begin to get funded for training programs?

Begin with needs not wants. The first thing the funder wants to know is what training does your department need …and why. In order to answer that question, an organizational assessment is needed to provide data and evidence that the training need is real. An assessment can be completed internally using existing staff or externally by a consultant. The following list of questions and considerations which will assist you in providing justification to the funder for your grant request. The funder will want you to demonstrate that you have exhausted all local and regional training opportunities and looked to existing national facilities to meet your needs. Then, if that is not sufficient you will be able to specifically target the appropriate training program need, justify it and develop that within the targeted grant.

1. Take A Serious look at your internal training. Find out what training has been managed internally such as orientation, firearms, etc. How often is your internal training completed? Annually, monthly, weekly? How many officers are trained? Who does this training a staff member or outside consultant who comes in house to provide the training? What internal training will need to be provided over the next three years? How many officers? What type of training is needed to meet the needs of the community you serve? What is the cost per officer of providing your internal training? What are the outcomes of your internal training? Have you reduced risk, decrease crime is a specific area, increased new policing strategies, etc? Have you automated your training administration for documenting the training within your department? Do you have an evaluation process in place to bench mark your training practices and outcomes?

2. What facilities do you need? Does your existing space provide the classroom resources to fulfill your training needs for the next three to five years? Do you have technology to for providing that training such as a PowerPoint Projector, video capabilities and if needed internet access? Do you have training facilities which can be shared with community partners? What facilities do your partners have which you can access to better meet your internal training needs? What is the cost of these facilities per officer?

3. Review external training. What types of training did officers attend outside of your department? Include all training, especially any virtual training, grant writing, professional development, specialized training, technical training, high risk entry training, intelligence gathering, etc? How many officers received trained in which areas? What are the projected external training needs of your department for the next three to five years? What are the outcomes of the external training? Reduced risk, increased capacity, new policing strategies implemented, etc?

Read the full article here.

Do you have any advice for other departments on how to successfully win funding for training programs?