Thursday, July 28, 2011

Wisconsin OJA Offers Grant Program for Small Agencies

Many departments across the country are faced with budget shortfalls and cuts in every facet of public safety. Need a facial recognition tool or a mugshot system? Unfortunately local, county and state budgets in many cases just don't allow the purchase of these types of necessities (and they are becoming necessities). This is true particularly for smaller departments that don't have the economies of scale or capital budgets to purchase new equipment.

The OJA in Wisconsin realizes this shortfall between funding sources depending on the size of the department, and created four years ago the Smaller Police Agency Crime Initiative grant funding program. The SPACI program as it is commonly known, provides smaller departments - typically with 20 or fewer sworn officers - with grant opportunities up to a maximum of $10,000 per year. THis past year, 106 agencies applied for over $850,000 in assistance and $300,000 was awarded to Wisconsin departments. This is an important equalizer for smaller departments as criminals, realizing that smaller departments don't have teh same resources as larger metropolitan areas, are beginning to set up shop in smaller, rural communities.

I hope more State and Federal programs come to same conclusion as well.