Public Safety Funding Toolkit

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American Rescue Plan Act of 2021: How Local Governments Can Support Public Safety Initiatives

Local Fiscal Recovery Fund Toolkit for Public Safety

Sections 602(c)(1)(C) and 603(c)(1)(C) of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) provide state and local governments with broad latitude to use the Fiscal Recovery Funds for the provision of government services, which specifically includes public safety services.1 Ideas for local governments to consider in using their ARPA Local Recovery Funds related to improving public safety are outlined below. However, please note the limitations as provided in the disclaimer below.

The U.S. Department of Treasury has specific compliance and reporting requirements associated with the use of ARPA fiscal recovery funds. For more information, please refer directly to the U.S. Department of Treasury’s website. Be sure to check the Treasury’s website frequently to stay up to date on current guidance and funding requirements.

Of note, all ARPA fiscal recovery funds must be encumbered by December 31, 2024 and all projects must be completed and all funds expended by December 31, 2026.


1 Interim Final Rule 86 Fed. Reg. 26804-26806 (May 17, 2021) Supplementary Information: II Eligible Uses, (C) Revenue Loss.

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Crime Intervention Programs

Need:

  • There is a need across the state for crime mitigation programs and/or services.

Actions You Can Fund:

  • Fund crime mitigation or intervention services (e.g., wrap around services, gun violence de-escalation services, etc.).
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Hiring of Law Enforcement Officers and Other Public Safety Personnel

Need:

  • The Interim Final Rule specifically states that fiscal recovery funds can be spend on "Payroll, covered benefit, and other costs associated with the recipient increasing the number of its employees up to the number of employees that it employed on January 27, 2020."

Actions You Can Fund:

  • Fund additional positions up to the number of employees that were employed by the organization on January 27, 2020.
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Law Enforcement Academy Scholarships

Need:

  • The cost to complete the academy may be prohibitive to some potential law enforcement recruits.

Actions You Can Fund:

  • Fund scholarships (potentially including salary or living expenses) for recruits.
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Missouri Crime Victim Advocate Credentialed Staff

Need:

  • Missouri victims of violent crime should have adequate access to a highly trained network of advocates with core standards and essential skills. These advocates or crisis responders are the front line for quality victim services. An investment in this network would result in countless improvements in the lives of victims of crime and their families.
  • Missouri crime victim advocates need core competency training, continuing education, and commensurate salary for the roles they fill as advocates and crisis-responders. Advocates are the conduit between victims of crime and healing, safety, and prevention of re-occurring victimization.

Actions You Can Fund:

  • Fund victim-focused staff.
  • Fund victim support groups.
  • Fund advocates to support victims.
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Homeless Shelters and Job Training

Need:

  • Many public safety issues are related to homelessness and lack of job training.

Actions You Can Fund:

  • Fund initiatives to reduce or end homelessness.
  • Fund programs that assist with training homeless people to transition to working and living in a home.
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Paralegal and Court Advocacy Recruitment and Training for Victims of Crime

Need:

Unmet needs of victims of crime often include the need for legal assistance and advocacy in the following:

  • Crime victim rights and statute review and reform.
  • Family law (child custody and protections, visitation/parenting plans, child support, divorce, establishment of paternity, grandparent rights).
  • Individual rights (modify/end guardianships, name change).
  • Immigration.
  • Personal protection orders for the victim and family members, including children.
  • Assistance with crime victims’ compensation.
  • Housing law (eviction, landlord repairs, foreclosure (tax or mortgage), mobile home issues, helping end leases or defending from eviction, etc.).
  • Consumer law (recoup money/property wrongfully taken, dealing with unauthorized account charges such as phones credit cards, utilities, etc.).
  • Public benefits, such as SNAP, housing assistance, and social security.
  • Victim restitution (prosecutor representation of the victim, judicial/court advocacy).
  • Emergency funds for immediate needs such as safe and secure childcare, accompaniment, transportation, and shelter/relocation, clothing and sustenance.

Actions You Can Fund:

  • Fund paralegals/court advocates to assist with the legal needs of service providers and individual victims (including the fees associated with court filings).
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Establish a System-Based Law Enforcement Advocate Program

Need:

  • Victim services personnel are employed by, or contracted to serve, a law enforcement agency. Services they provide are for victims, witnesses, survivors, and co-victims of crime. Victim services personnel help ensure each county or circuit has a law enforcement-based advocate with consistent training and continuing education requirements.
  • Additionally, data collected by victim services personnel could be used to identify barriers to service access, gaps in services, and duplication of services. While MOPS has a federally funded prosecutorial based advocate program, not all cases reach the prosecutorial phase.

Actions You Can Fund:

  • Fund law enforcement embedded victim advocates.
  • Fund victim advocate training.
  • Fund victim-centered services.
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Missouri Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Recruitment and Retention

Need:

  • Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) are registered nurses who have completed specialized education and clinical preparation in the medical forensic care of patients who have experienced sexual assault or abuse. It is estimated that 52 counties in Missouri are without a SANE.
  • It is not uncommon for a sexual assault survivor to have to wait several hours before receiving proper SANE care and the survivor often has to travel 2-3 hours away to access services. Worse yet, when turned away from a hospital without a SANE, the survivor may decide that "it’s not worth it" and choose not to travel to another facility which results in no evidence collection, no chance of prosecution. Very few hospitals have a SANE and even fewer have any on call 24/7.

Actions You Can Fund:

  • Fund SANE nurse scholarships for certification training and support.
  • Fund salaries for SANE nurses.
  • Fund coordinated efforts to have SANE nurse availability at every hospital.
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Cybersecurity Awareness and Mitigation

Need:

  • Cybersecurity threats are increasing daily. Response to such incidents involves prevention, detection, and mitigation. The capabilities of computer security personnel at local and state levels are varied and poor outcomes can be embarrassing (at best) and disastrous economically.

Actions You Can Fund:

  • Fund cybersecurity training (including prevention).
  • Fund cybersecurity ranges for controlled exercises.
  • Fund cybersecurity workforce development initiatives.
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MOSWIN Radios

Need:

  • Communication across various disciplines and geographical areas is critical to public safety efforts. Enhancements for interoperable communication is needed.

Actions You Can Fund:

  • Fund mobile and portable MOSWIN radios.
  • Fund MOSWIN network enabling sites.
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Next Generation 911

Need:

  • 911 services across Missouri are varied. Consistent and reliable 911 services are needed. The Telephony Denial of Service (TDoS) program is helping improve 911 emergency call centers’ ability to defend against TDoS attacks through cybersecurity technologies that can analyze incoming calls and determine potential threats in real time.

Actions You Can Fund:

  • Fund 911 technology enhancements.
  • Fund Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPS) to enhance cybersecurity.
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License Plate Readers

Need:

  • Law enforcement must readily share information to serve public safety in our state. This includes sharing information about vehicles that travel on our roadways.
  • License plate readers (LPRs) can provide lead information for law enforcement when attempting to locate missing children or investigating crimes.

Actions You Can Fund:

  • Fund LPRs (fixed or mobile).
  • Fund technology to share reads with other law enforcement agencies.
  • Fund installation and maintenance of LPRs on state right of way.
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Critical Incident Stress Management

Need:

  • First responders endure many traumatic events through the course of their duties. Training and seminars to assist in dealing with this stress is needed for all public safety agencies.

Actions You Can Fund:

  • Fund critical stress debriefings for those encountering trauma.
  • Fund critical stress management seminars.
  • Fund regular mental health check-ins.
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Body Cameras for Law Enforcement

Need:

  • Police accountability and transparency are improved when actions are documented through video.

Actions You Can Fund:

  • Fund body cameras for local law enforcement agency.
  • Fund storage for body camera footage.
  • Fund technology to enhance transparency.
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Services for Law Enforcement to Access for those in Mental Health Crisis

Need:

  • Expand service availability for mental health crisis patients. Law enforcement has limited options to address citizens who are in a mental health crisis. Those experiencing a crisis are sometimes taken to a jail or an emergency room and their situation is left unresolved.

Actions You Can Fund:

  • Fund treatment centers.
  • Fund mental health drop off sites for Law Enforcement.
  • Fund medications and food costs for patients who have experienced mental health episodes.
  • Fund training for law enforcement encounters with those experiencing a mental health crisis.
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Software to Assist in Locating Humans

Need:

  • The Finding Individuals for Disaster and Emergency Response (FINDER) is capable of detecting human heartbeats under up to 30 feet of rubble, which helps responders more effectively target rescue efforts.

Actions You Can Fund:

  • Fund training and software to assist in locating human bodies at disaster sites.
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Local Homeland Security Initiatives

Need:

  • Securing local communities and the state of Missouri requires training and equipment for those responsible for performing this duty.

Actions You Can Fund:

  • Fund training, equipment, and technology for local homeland security efforts
  • local cybersecurity detection and mitigation initiatives.
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Next Generation Incident Command System

Need:

  • The Next Generation Incident Command System (NICS), a web-based platform, allows responders to share data and request assistance in real-time, and also allows officials to observe and make critical decisions during evolving situations to better support preparation, response, and recovery.

Actions You Can Fund:

  • Fund training, software, and equipment for NICS.
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Disclaimer

It is important to note that the Interim Final Rule’s Supplementary Information2 states that expenses associated with obligations under instruments evidencing financial indebtedness for borrowed money would not be considered the provision of government services, as these financing expenses do not directly provide services or aid to citizens. Specifically, government services would not include interest or principal on any outstanding debt instrument, including, for example, short-term revenue or tax anticipation notes, or fees or issuance costs associated with the issuance of new debt. For the same reasons, government services would not include satisfaction of any obligation arising under or pursuant to a settlement agreement, judgment, consent decree, or judicially confirmed debt restructuring in a judicial, administrative, or regulatory proceeding, except if the judgment or settlement required the provision of government services. That is, satisfaction of a settlement or judgment itself is not a government service, unless the settlement required the provision of government services. In addition, replenishing financial reserves (e.g., rainy day or other reserve funds) would not be considered provision of a government service, since such expenses do not directly relate to the provision of government services.


2 Interim Final Rule 86 Fed. Reg. 26804-26806 (May 17, 2021) Supplementary Information: II(C), p. 26801

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DPS Resources

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ARPA Resources

 

Disclaimer:   The U.S. Department of Treasury has not published the Final Rule on the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds. Information shared in this toolkit is subject to change pending final rulemaking and subsequent guidance and/or FAQs published by Treasury.