FAQ

Requests cannot exceed $150,000 per agency. For as long as funding is available, agencies may submit one or more applications—however, the combined requested amount cannot exceed $150,000. For example, the total amount a group of interdiction teams under one law enforcement agency can request combined is $150,000 for the entire agency. Agencies are guided to request funding only for the specific amount needed to obtain the requested item(s) and the costs should be reasonable.

An applicant must meet the following eligibility requirements to be considered for this program:
  • Be a small, rural, or tribal law enforcement agency located within the SWB states of Arizona, California, New Mexico, or Texas
  • Have a population size of 100,000 or less
  • Have permission from the agency’s governing authority to receive the award
  • Be able to comply with post-award reporting requirements
  • If applicable, be able to provide law enforcement staff members with the necessary training on the use and implementation of purchased equipment or systems
Priority consideration will be given to law enforcement agencies located on or near the Southwest Border.

Yes. If an agency has not applied for the full $150,000 in its first application, it can submit an additional application as long as funding is still available and the total amount requested does not exceed the $150,000 cap.

Yes. Multiple sections/divisions under one law enforcement agency are permitted to apply, but since they fall under one agency, the total amount requested cannot exceed the $150,000 cap. If multiple requests are received from one agency, BJA may contact the agency’s administrator to inquire whether there is a priority order for the requested funding.

It depends. Multiple departments or agencies can apply for resources to support a task force or an interdiction team, but the total amount requested cannot exceed $150,000. For example, while an agency is permitted to apply for resources of up to $150,000 to support its individual agency purposes, two separate agencies cannot each receive $150,000 and combine the funds ($300,000) to support a task force. The maximum the two agencies could receive to support the task force would be $150,000 total.

The Southwest Border Rural Law Enforcement Assistance Grant is designed to provide resources to small, rural, and tribal law enforcement agencies along or near the Southwest Border of the United States in order to support efforts in addressing precipitous increases of all types of crime unique to this region, including human trafficking, sexual assaults, extorsion, gang activity, murder, drug trafficking, and other forms of violent crime.

The list of eligible items is broad and may include the following. Note: Standard-issue items normally provided by a law enforcement agency in the course of its mission are not included in this program; for example, vehicles, weapons, uniforms, radios, and other standard-issue items.
  • Public safety equipment
  • Tactical equipment
  • Communications equipment, other than radios
  • Computer or networking equipment and peripherals
  • Computer software or mobile applications
  • K-9 unit support (K-9[s], K-9 training, K-9 maintenance)
  • Vehicle modifications (For a K-9 unit conversion or similar modifications only. Standard-issue, police vehicle equipment is not permitted.)
  • Other specialized needs that are not described above but which would aid the agency in fulfilling one of the program purposes described below
Funding requested must be used to fulfill one or more of the following program purposes:
  • Improve the agency’s investigative, intelligence, and/or interdiction capabilities
  • Enhance information sharing, including investigative and intelligence data sharing with other agencies
  • Enable agencies to participate in projects within the Southwest Border states
  • Assist in projects/initiatives unique to an agency or its region
  • Improve dedicated communications capabilities
Note: This program is not designed for COVID-19 expenses, but should an agency provide an extreme circumstances need, the request will be reviewed.

Yes, funding can be used to sustain a currently operating program, as long as the funding supports one or more of the program purposes. However, priority will be given to those agencies located closest to or on the southwest border. The funding cannot supplant items or services already budgeted by the agency. Priority will be given to those agencies located closest to or nearly on the southwest border.

While there is a broad range of eligible items permitted to be purchased through this funding opportunity, there are some that are strictly not eligible. These include standard-issue items that are considered part of the role and routine operation of a law enforcement agency, such as vehicles, weapons, radios, uniforms, etc. If vehicle modifications are requested, these are limited to K-9 unit conversions or similar special modifications only. Standard-issue equipment normally provided on a police vehicle is not permitted.

There are four states—Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas—identified as southwest border states under this program.

Law enforcement agencies that serve a population of 100,000 or less and are located within Arizona, California, New Mexico, or Texas are eligible to apply. A small or rural law enforcement agency may be located in either:
  • An area or community, respectively, where no part is within an area designated as a standard metropolitan statistical area or
  • An area or community, respectively, that is within an area designated as a metropolitan statistical area, or considered as part of a metropolitan statistical area, but is located within a rural census tract.
A tribal law enforcement entity must be one that is part of a federally recognized Indian tribe and is located within Arizona, California, New Mexico, or Texas.

Applications are available in three formats (an online form, a downloadable PDF, or in print) and can be submitted in several ways.
  1. Online Form: Refer to this Application page.

  2. Download a Fillable PDF: Applicants may download a PDF version of the application or may request the PDF form by email at swb@ncirc.gov. As a completion option, the PDF is designed as a fillable form that, when using an Adobe- or Acrobat-based application, can be completed using a computer and saved for later submission to swb@ncirc.gov. The form may also be filled in by hand. Refer to Printed Applications below for submission information. Note: If any difficulties are experienced when completing and saving the form, agencies may print the form, complete it by hand, and either scan and email it to the address provided, or submit the application by fax or postal mail using the options in Printed Applications below.

  3. Printed Applications: Printed applications may be submitted by email, fax, or postal mail using the following options:
    Email:
    Email a saved (or scanned) PDF of the completed form to swb@ncirc.gov.

    Fax:
    Fax the completed application using a cover sheet, sent to the attention of: IIR: SWB Rural Law Enforcement Assistance Program
    Fax Number: (850) 422-3529

    Postal Mail:
    Mail the completed application to the following address.
    Institute for Intergovernmental Research
    Attention: SWB Rural Law Enforcement Assistance Program
    Post Office Box 12729
    Tallahassee, FL 32317

Yes. Assistance is available through the online Contact Us form, by email at swb@ncirc.gov, or by phone at
(850) 385-0600
(specify the Southwest Border Rural Law Enforcement Assistance Program).

No, not all items purchased under this award will necessarily require training prior to use. Those agencies, however, that received awards for specialized equipment that would normally require officer or personnel training on the appropriate and legal use of those items, especially privacy implications, will be required to provide confirmation of receipt of training. In addition, those agencies that received awards to fund subscriptions, or access to an intelligence information system or service, will be required to provide certificates of completion of 28 CFR Part 23 training.

A representative from the program provider, Institute for Intergovernmental Research (IIR), will reach out to the agency’s designated point-of-contact to complete a post-implementation survey. This information will be used by IIR to submit a quarterly report to the Bureau of Justice Assistance. Survey questions may include, but are not limited to:
  • What was the problem identified to be addressed through the funding?
  • Was the project or implementation completed by the target date?
  • How was/were the item(s) used/implemented?
  • How was information and/or intelligence sharing improved?
  • What other benefits, if any, were gained through this award?
  • How many officers were given/used the item(s) or benefited from the award?
  • What best practices can be recommended based on the agency’s use/implementation experience?
  • What lessons learned (and challenges faced) can you share from the use/implementation?