This week Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced police departments in his state can apply to receive funding for bullet-resistant shields and to cover travel expense to attend Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT). All officers who receive ballistic shields through this grant program will also have to undergo ALEERT training.
In June, Abbott and Texas legislative leaders transferred $105.5 million to support additional school safety and mental health initiatives. Included within that is $3 million for local law enforcement agencies to offset travel expenditures for ALERRT training and $50 million for bullet-resistant shields.
“The State of Texas is working to ensure our law enforcement partners across the state are able to protect our children, teachers, and schools as the new school year begins," says Abbott in a Wednesday press release. “These new funds will give law enforcement officers expanded access to training for active shooter scenarios, as well as critical protective equipment. I encourage all eligible law enforcement agencies and local government entities to apply for this additional funding as we work together to keep all Texans safe.”
Independent school districts, units of local government, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and other educational institutions that operate law enforcement agencies employing peace officers can apply for the grant to purchase shields. However, all officers provided with a grant-funded ballistic shield must have either attended 16 hours of ALERRT training within the past 24 months or commit to attend within the next 24 months, according to the governor’s office. The cutoff for applying is Sept. 16.
Those same type departments, schools, and agencies can apply for travel assistance grants to cover expenses related to travel for ALERRT training. In the case of this grant, the final date to submit and certify an application is Aug. 31.
The PSO administers federal and state grant funding to promote strategies that improve public safety, support victims of crime, prevent terrorism, and prepare communities for the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risk to Texans.