Many police departments and other law enforcement agencies have been feeling the pinch of the economic crisis of the last two years. Federal, State and local budgets are shrinking, and law enforcement agencies have had to make due with less. As budgets shrink, these agencies start having to make hard decisions about what are necessary expenditures to ensure public safety and what are expenditures that must wait for better times. Unfortunately, the purchase of new and updated IT equipment, hardware and software falls under the "wait for better times" expenditures. As criminals and their activity become more and more sophisticated and high tech, however, this belief systems begins to threaten public safety in and of itself.
There are Federal and State programs out there, however, that provide much needed funds to police departments and governmental agencies to purchase this type of much needed equipment and to assist in other research that a law enforcement agency might consider undertaking. One such program is the Grant Program through the Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology.
This program, administered through the grants.gov program, is seeking applications for grants for FY2010, which ends on June 30, 2010 (except for Fire Research Grant, which expired earlier this year). The categories of grants that government agencies are eligible for include the following:
(1) Electronics and Electrical Engineering Laboratory (EEEL);
(2) the Manufacturing Engineering Laboratory (MEL);
(3) the Chemical Science and Technology Laboratory (CSTL);
(4) the Physics Laboratory;
(5) the Materials Science and Engineering Laboratory (MSEL);
(6) the Building Research Grants and Cooperative Agreements Program;
(7) the Fire Research Program;
(8) the Information Technology Laboratory (ITL) Program;
(9) the NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR);
(10) Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology (CNST); and
(11) Technology Services (TS).
It appears that governmental agencies seeking to employ the latest software and hardware to augment its capabilities should review the Technology Services portion of the program which provides grants for "software/hardware needed to collect data of inspection records/results." Applications should be received by NIST prior to June 1, 2010 to ensure that the application is considered for the FY2010 program.
For assistance or further information on applying for the NIST grants pursuant to the grants.gov program, contact us at http://huntersystemsgroup.com/.