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Friday, May 7th, 2021

DOJ releases $58M to combat Illicit drugs, improve officer wellness

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The U.S. Department of Justice announced Monday that its Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) has released approximately $58 million in grant solicitations to advance community policing, combat opioid and methamphetamine use, and promote the health and safety of law enforcement officers.

The three grant solicitations will be made available to state law enforcement agencies.

“The grant solicitations announced today will help law enforcement agencies in their continuing struggles on two fronts – fighting against the public health and safety crisis of illegal drug use, and safeguarding the mental health and wellness of our law enforcement officers,” said Acting Director Robert Chapman of the COPS Office. “The COPS Office is pleased to make these resources available that will not only help to protect our nation’s citizens, but also the law enforcement officers who do so much to protect them.”

The DOJ will award $8 million for as anticipated 57 Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act Program grants of up to $125,000 each. Those grants will last for two years with no local matching funds needed. Grants will be awarded for programs that improve the delivery of and access to mental health and wellness services for law enforcement using peer support, training, family resources, suicide prevention, and other wellness practices.

The DOJ has also allocated $35 million for COPS Office Anti-Heroin Task Force Program grants of up to $4 million each. Those grants will last for three years, with no requirement for matching local funds, and be used to help state law enforcement locate and investigate illicit activity related to the distribution of heroin, fentanyl, or carfentanil prescription opioids.

The department will also make available $15 million in grant funds through the COPS Anti-Methamphetamine Program. State law enforcement agencies can apply for three-year grants of no less than $1 million and no more than $2 million to locate or investigate those manufacturing and/or distributing methamphetamine.

Grant applications are due June 3, 2021.