On May 9, 2022, COPS announced additional funding for the Community Policing Development (CPD) Accreditation Program. To apply for funding through this program, you will need to complete the application on grants.gov as well as JustGrants.
- The Grants.gov deadline is June 21, 2022 at 7:59 PM ET.
- The JustGrants/final application deadline is June 23, 2022 at 7:59 pm ET.
There are three subcategories of funds associated with this grant:
- Address gaps in state accreditation: This supports establishing accreditation entities for states that do not currently have an accrediting body.
- Enhancing existing law enforcement accreditation entities: To help existing law enforcement accrediting bodies make it easier for agencies to get accredited.
- Supporting law enforcement agencies in seeking accreditation: For local, state, tribal, and territorial law enforcement agencies that are seeking first time accreditation.
This article was created for law enforcement agencies seeking accreditation for the first time (number three on the above list). This is a 24-month award with up to $250,000 in grants available for large agencies and $160,000 for small/rural agencies seeking initial accreditation.
These funds can be used towards civilian employee salaries, sworn officer overtime, contracts for staff, accreditation fees, policy management software, costs associated with internal training for personnel, and any other expenses directly related to an agency’s ability to successfully obtain accreditation. This includes purchasing PowerDMS software.
Grant Process Overview
Applying for the COPS grant requires many steps, but this article will walk you through the process so your agency can meet the June 21st and June 23rd deadlines. To help you understand the effort involved, we’ve included a high-level summary below of all the steps you need to complete. The remainder of this article will walk you through each specific step and provide you with valuable tips and links to helpful resources.
For this solicitation, the COPS Office has designated the following application elements as mandatory:
- Proposal Abstract
- Application Questions
- A Budget Narrative
- Budget Detail Worksheets
- Timeline of project deliverables, milestones and activities, and who will complete activities. (must be submitted as an attachment in the “additional application component” section)
It is strongly recommended that applicants register immediately on https://www.grants.gov. In addition, applicants are strongly encouraged to complete the SF-424, section 1, and if applicable, the SF-LLL on Grants.gov as quickly as possible. Any delays in registering with Grants.gov or submitting the SF-424 may result in insufficient time to process your application through grants.gov or JustGrants.
Even with the tips and templates we are providing, it will require additional time to prepare all materials for your agency. We recommend you start the process as soon as possible to ensure it’s submitted before or by the June 21, 2022, at 7:59 PM ET deadline.
Applicant eligibility is limited to local, state, tribal, and territorial law enforcement agencies. To advance Executive Order 13929 Safe Policing for Safe Communities, as of October 28, 2020, the Attorney General determined that all state, local, and university or college law enforcement agencies must be certified by an approved independent credentialing body or have started the certification process to be allocated FY 2022 DOJ discretionary grant funding, either as a recipient or a subrecipient. For detailed information on this new certification requirement, please visit https://cops.usdoj.gov/SafePolicingEO .
Here’s a list of resources to keep on hand in case you run into any issues:
- Here is the COPS grant page, where you will find an overview of the grant submission dates and the solicitation guide.
- For additional assistance we encourage you to visit the How to Apply page, which includes frequently asked questions, appendices, additional fact sheets, links to webinars, and other resources. For technical assistance with submitting the SF-424, contact Grants.gov customer service at 800-518-4726 or via email at support@Grants.gov. Support is available 24/7 with the exception of federal holidays.
- For technical support with the Justice Grants System (JustGrants) application, please contact JustGrants Support at JustGrants.Support@usdoj.gov or 833-872-5175. Support is available seven days a week, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST, as well as on federal holidays.
- For programmatic assistance with the requirements of this program, contact the COPS Office Response Center at 800-421-6770 or via AskCopsRC@usdoj.gov. The COPS Office Response Center is available Monday–Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST, except on federal holidays.
- For questions related to PowerDMS, including cost, how to talk about the product, or anything discussed in this guide, email us at email@example.com. We will be available to respond M–F, 9am to 5pm ET.
Now that you have a high-level understanding of the grant process, let’s dive into step-by-step instructions on how to apply. This article is a summary of the Community Policing Development (CPD) Accreditation Solicitation. You can obtain the full solicitation document by clicking here.
Step 1: Register in the SAM database or confirm SAM number
The Unique Entity ID issued by SAM is a 12-character alphanumeric value and once issued will not change. Entities that are currently registered in SAM.gov already have a Unique Entity ID (SAM) which can be viewed in SAM.gov. The transition to UEI (SAM) will not impact an entity’s registration expiration date or when renewal is necessary.
System of Award Management (SAM) registration and renewal can take as long as 10 business days to complete.
If you do not have an Employer Identification Number (EIN), the process can take up to 5 weeks.
SAM registration procedures can be accessed at www.sam.gov.
The person registering with SAM will be the designated SAM E-Business Point of Contact, and they are able to assign roles to those submitting applications for the organization (your Authorized Organization Representatives). In addition, you must review your SAM registration once a year.
Step 2: Acquire an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) and a Grants.gov username and password
Complete the AOR profile on Grants.gov and create a username and password. An applicant entity’s “unique entity identifier” must be used to complete this step. For more information about the registration process for organizations and other entities, visit the Grants.gov registration page. Individuals registering with Grants.gov may visit the Applicant Registration page.
Step 3: Acquire confirmation for the AOR from the E-Business Point of Contact (E-Biz POC)
The SAM E-Biz POC at the applicant organization must log into Grants.gov to confirm the applicant organization’s AOR. The E-Biz POC will need the Marketing Partner Identification Number (MPIN) password obtained when registering with SAM to complete this step. Note that an organization can have more than one AOR.
Step 4: Search for the funding opportunity on Grants.gov
Search using the assistance listing title and the funding opportunity number from the solicitation.
Step 5: Access Funding Opportunity and Application Package from Grants.gov
Select “Apply for Grants” under the “Applicants” column. Enter your email address to be notified of any changes to the opportunity package before the closing date. Click the Workspace icon to use Grants.gov Workspace.
Step 6: Complete and Submit the SF-424 and SF-LLL via Grants.gov
Within 48 hours after submitting the SF-424 and SF-LLL, the applicant should receive two notifications from Grants.gov. The first will confirm the receipt of the SF-424 and SF-LLL. The second will state whether the SF-424 and SF-LLL have been validated and successfully submitted, or whether it has been rejected due to errors, accompanied by an explanation of those errors. It is possible to first receive a message indicating that the application is received, and then receive a rejection notice a few minutes or hours later. Submitting the SF-424 and the SF-LLL well ahead of the Grants.gov deadline provides time to correct the problem(s) that caused the rejection.
Important: DOJ urges each applicant to submit the SF-424 and the SF-LLL at least 72 hours before the Grants.gov due date to allow time to receive validation messages or rejection notifications. This helps ensure you have sufficient time to correct any problems that may have caused a rejection notification. Verify the application deadline (date and time) in the solicitation.
Step 7: Register the Entity Administrator (E-Biz POC) and the Application Submitter with DOJ’s Justice Grants System (JustGrants)
New Entity without a JustGrants Account
Within 24 hours of JustGrants receiving an application from Grants.gov, the user submitting the application in Grants.gov and SAM E-Biz POC will receive an email to register for a JustGrants account. The email is from DOJ’s secure user management system (DIAMD) and will include instructions on how to create an account.
To ensure that you receive these emails and that they are not flagged as spam, we recommend adding “DIAMD-NoReply@usdoj.gov” to the trusted sender list in your email settings.
The E-Biz POC at the applicant organization serves as the Entity Administrator and must log-in to JustGrants to confirm the entity’s profile, add users, and assign the two required Authorized Representatives (Law Enforcement Executive/Program Official and Government Executive/Financial Official). The Authorized Representatives are officials who have ultimate and final responsibility for all programmatic and financial decisions for your agency as representatives of the legal award recipient. For guidance on who should be assigned as Authorized Representatives, please see below:
- For Law Enforcement Agencies, COPS Office awards require that both the top law enforcement executive (e.g., Chief of Police, Sheriff, or equivalent) and the top government executive (e.g., Mayor, Board Chairman, or equivalent) sign the application, and (if awarded funding) accept the Award Package. The top law enforcement executive must be assigned the role of Authorized Representative 1 and the top government executive must be assigned the role of Authorized Representative 2 in JustGrants.
Please note that non-executive positions (e.g., clerks, trustees) are not acceptable as Authorized Representatives.
The user who submitted the application in Grants.gov serves as the Application Submitter. Within minutes of completing your JustGrants account registration, the Application Submitter and the E-Biz POC (Entity Administrator) users will receive an email from JustGrants with a link to the application started in Grants.gov.
Application Submitters and E-Biz POC Users with a JustGrants Account
Step 8: Review and Invite the Two Required Authorized Representatives in JustGrants
The Entity Administrator will need to log in to JustGrants to review and assign the required two Authorized Representatives. (Law Enforcement Executive/Program Official and Government Executive/Financial Official). The Authorized Representatives are officials who have ultimate and final responsibility for all programmatic and financial decisions for your agency as representatives of the legal award recipient. For guidance on who should be assigned as Authorized Representatives, please see the guidance above:
If an Authorized Representative needs to be invited, the Entity Administrator will need to invite the individual to receive a JustGrants account. These actions are required before an application can be submitted.
Within minutes of being invited to be an Authorized Representative, the individual will receive an email from DIAMD-NoReply@usdoj.gov with instructions on how to create an account in the DOJ's secure user management system.
Once the Authorized Representatives receive the email and complete the steps to create an account, the Authorized Representative will be available in JustGrants.
Review the “JustGrants User Roles Guide“ to become familiar with the various JustGrants Entity User roles.
Step 9: Complete and Submit the JustGrants Application
The Application Submitter will complete the application by entering data into web-based forms, uploading attachments, and accepting assurances and certifications. Before you submit your application, each section must be complete and free of validation errors. If not, please return to each identified page using the table of contents on the right side of the page. If any required fields are unanswered, they will be flagged with warning messages. In this case, answer these required fields. You will not be able to submit your application until all validation issues are corrected and the application is certified.
The Application Submitter will also need to confirm the required two Authorized Representatives (Law Enforcement Executive/Program Official and Government Executive/Financial Official).
The Application Submitter will need to select two authorized representatives via the dropdown field in the “Confirm Authorized Representative” section of the application. The dropdown will display all authorized representatives that have been assigned for your entity (refer to the Application Submission Job Aid Reference Guide for this step).
If you do not see authorized representatives for your entity in the dropdown field within the “Confirm Authorized Representative” section of the application, you will need to add and assign roles for each authorized representative in your entity. Please note: the COPS Office requires two authorized representatives (Law Enforcement Executive and Government Executive) for its grant applications. Users will not be visible in JustGrants until they have successfully logged into JustGrants. If you need assistance adding users and assigning roles for your entity, please refer to the Entity Management Job Aid Reference Guide.
Once all sections are completed, the application submitter will submit the application. Upon successful submission of an application, the Application Submitter, Entity Administrator, and the two Authorized Representatives will receive an email from JustGrants confirming submission of the application. The COPS Office will not accept applications submitted via mail or email.
It is anticipated that awards will be announced on or after October 1, 2022. Award notifications will be sent electronically. Any public announcements will be posted on the COPS Office website.
All award decisions are final and not subject to appeal.
This is a great opportunity for your agency to receive funding of up to $160,000 or $250,000 in order to achieve accreditation for the first time. But time is of the essence to meet this deadline.
Funding and resources are often the largest barriers an agency faces when seeking to begin the accreditation process. This grant is a great opportunity for your agency to overcome the funding hurdle.
We want to help in any way we can. Complete the form below if you have questions about applying for this grant or need assistance. We are working on creating additional templates (project narrative and budget narrative) and additional resources to make this process easier for you.
By completing the form, we will have your contact information and you will be the first to know when these new resources become available.
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