|Office of Community
Oriented Policing Services
U.S. Department of Justice
DEFINITION: For the purpose of COPS grants, supplanting means using COPS grant funds to replace state or local funds which otherwise would have been spent on the specific law enforcement purpose of the COPS grant awards. COPS officer and civilian positions must be in addition to any locally-funded positions, and COPS technology must be in addition to any locally-budgeted equipment or technology expenditures.
COMPLIANCE: To be in compliance with the nonsupplanting requirement, COPS grant funds are to be used to supplement the budget of the law enforcement agency, not replace any currently, historically, or future appropriated funds for the grant purposes. An analysis of supplanting is a two-step process. The first step is to examine the facts that occurred during the life of the grant in order to determine if a supplanting violation might have transpired because a reduction in local or state funding for the grant-funded purpose occurred after the grantee received funding. The second step is to review the reason for the reduction, including supporting documentation, to determine why the reduction occurred. Examples of relevant documentation include both historic and current copies of the grantee's budget, local government policies and meeting minutes, and other documentation reflecting the reasons for the reduction in the department's budget. The key to whether a supplanting violation has occurred is whether the reduction of local or state funding, a fact that might "look like" supplanting, would have occurred regardless of the receipt of COPS grant funds for reasons unrelated to the COPS grants.
Additionally, to comply with the nonsupplanting requirement, officers or civilians hired under a grant must be newly hired on or after the grant award start date, and equipment or technology funded with grant funds must be purchased on or after the grant award start date. Grantees may not fill a position with an individual who was hired prior to the award start date, and may not expend funds on equipment or technology purchased prior to the award start date, unless an exception is authorized in writing by the COPS Office. Exceptions are authorized only in rare circumstances and upon clear proof that local law enforcement funds were not already budgeted or committed for the hire or purchase. Examples of relevant documentation include budget documents, staffing levels, offer letters provided to individuals, and contracts of purchase. If a grantee receives authorization to expend funds on an officer or civilian hired pre-award, funds may only be spent on the allowable salary and benefits as of the award start date.