Gov. Greg Abbott has announced that his Public Safety Office will administer more than $296 million in grant funding for a variety of programs and services in Texas to support a broad range of public safety initiatives.
According to Abbott's office, this grant funding was made possible through a combination of federal and state dollars.
"Nothing is more important than the safety and security of Texans, and this grant funding will strengthen our efforts to prevent and combat crime while also supporting victims and survivors," Abbott said. "Protecting public safety requires a comprehensive approach, and each of these recipients play an essential role in keeping our communities safe. Texas thanks the hundreds of award recipients for serving their fellow Texans and for working to build a safer and stronger Texas."
The Governor's Public Safety Office administers state and federal grant programs in coordination with state-level and regional partner agencies. These partner agencies include the 24 regional Councils of Governments in Texas and the Urban Area Working Groups in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, Houston, and San Antonio.
Entities interested in seeking funds to support their public safety initiatives during the next grant cycle, the 2022 fiscal year, should reach out to their local Councils of Governments to learn about region specific timelines and requirements, Gov. Abbott's office said.
According to Gov. Abbott, the recently-announced grants include funding for the following:
- Addressing Violence Against Women: 87 awards totaling $11.9 million for projects that provide training opportunities, legal advocacy, investigation and technology resources, and protective order assistance to victims of violent crimes.
- Bullet Resistant Vests: 58 awards totaling $4.7 million to provide peace officers with rifle-resistant body armor to prevent loss of life during tactical and emergency response operations.
- Homeland Security: 412 awards totaling $61.6 million to help prevent terrorism and prepare for the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risk to the security of Texas and its citizens. These projects fund equipment, planning, training, exercises, and other activities for local, regional, and state-level agencies and strengthen core capabilities outlined in the National Preparedness Goal, Abbott's office said.
- Human Trafficking: 54 awards totaling $19.4 million for short and long-term residential services, advocacy, and case management for survivors of human trafficking in Texas.
- Justice Assistance: 215 awards totaling $13.5 million to promote public safety, reduce crime, and improve the criminal justice system. Projects funded support personnel, equipment, supplies, training, technical assistance, and information systems for criminal justice purposes.
- Juvenile Justice and Truancy Prevention: 108 awards totaling $10.6 million to prevent violence in and around schools and to improve the juvenile justice system by providing mental health services, truancy prevention and intervention through community-based and school programs.
- Local Border Security (Border Star): 94 awards totaling $5.3 million to provide for overtime and operating costs that support an increased law enforcement presence to detect, deter, and disrupt drug, human, and other trafficking along the Texas/Mexico border.
- SAFE Ready Facilities: 42 awards totaling $1.6 million to assist medical care facilities throughout Texas with necessary training, equipment and supplies to achieve and maintain Sexual Assault Forensic Exam-Ready designation as defined in Chapter 323 of the Texas Health and Safety Code.
- Serving Victims of Crime: 308 awards totaling $104.6 million to provide victim service activities including: first responder mental health services, professional therapy and counseling, crisis intervention services, and peer support groups.
- Specialty Courts: 61 awards totaling $7.9 million to support judicially supervised treatment, intensive case management, and other services to assist participants with substance abuse or mental health challenges move toward a healthier lifestyle, reduce the number of repeat offenses, and address congestion in the court system.
- Statewide Radio Infrastructure: 28 awards totaling $20.4 million to connect regional interoperable communications systems, improve or establish tower sites, and enhance or maintain other radio system infrastructure statewide.
- Texas Anti-Gang: Eight awards totaling $8.1 million to provide coordinated law enforcement activity targeting gangs and other criminal organizations operating in Texas. Funds support designated facilities that house personnel from key federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.