Late this summer I had the pleasure of announcing our 2012 Community Policing Development Program (CPD) awardees. Making that announcement at the COPS Conference gave me the chance to personally congratulate a number of the awardees who happened to be in attendance, as well as to share with all of those at the conference some of the reasons why this small and extremely competitive grant program is able to have a significant impact on the field of policing year after year.
Historically the smallest of the COPS programs (less than $10 million per year over the last 5 years), the CPD program often does not get the same level of public attention as our other programs, but I have no doubt that most of you have been beneficiaries of this program, even if you don’t realize it. CPD supports applied research, guidebooks, and other tools that promote the use of innovative and successful community policing strategies. While the awards typically go to universities, think tanks, and membership organizations, the work they do and the products they deliver are specifically designed to assist local agencies and impact the practice of policing nationally. We work with the CPD awardees to produce and market their work, and distribute thousands of CPD-sponsored products every year. If you have ever downloaded or ordered a COPS publication from our website or picked one up at our booth, you have been the beneficiary of the CPD program. If you have attended a COPS-sponsored forum, training, or conference, you have been the beneficiary of the CPD program.
"This year we also introduced a new micro-grant program that allowed law enforcement agencies to apply for grants of up to $50,000 to implement and test an innovative idea."
We get hundreds of applications for CPD funding, and there are always many more good proposals than we can fund. Only 30 or so projects receive awards each year to advance the practice of community policing on a national scale, with a top dollar amount of $400,000. This year the program funded projects related to a number of public safety topic areas, including policing in a new economy, ethics and integrity, child and youth safety, and police practices. Additional topics included community policing enhancement and officer safety and wellness. This year we also introduced a new micro-grant program that allowed law enforcement agencies to apply for grants of up to $50,000 to implement and test an innovative idea. Four agencies were awarded micro-grants this year, and I hope we will be able to expand this program-within-a-program in future years, further enhancing our ability to provide the law enforcement field with timely and useful information on everything from proven best practices to addressing a wide variety of public safety problems.
Thanks to the work of these awardees, over the next few years we will be able to distribute guidebooks, BOLOs, executive summaries, roll call videos, toolkits, and training on all of these important topics. And as ever, all of the materials will be made free of charge to the field, as a part of our mission of helping make policing better and assisting agencies in coping with economic realities. The next time you stop by a COPS booth or place an order on our website, I hope you will remember that in doing so you are joining the legions of law enforcement professionals who are beneficiaries of the CPD program—without ever even having to fill out a grant application.