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Michael Paddock

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04/08/2009

Funding for Video Security Expanded by Stimulus


Funding for Video Security Expanded by Stimulus

Video surveillance has been a feature of public safety since before VHS, and as the technology continues to grow and become more connected to other functions, from gunshot recognition to building energy monitoring systems, funding for this basic form of security also gets more complicated. The good news is that even before the Recovery Act was signed into law, there was already a good amount of funding for video security.

For one thing, the number of funding sources for a basic video system expands with the number of ancillary functions the core system provides. For example, if you’re planning to move your video monitoring equipment onto a network that also runs your IP-based communication system, programs like the Interoperable Emergency Communications Grants can help fund the core infrastructure both systems need to operate. Most agencies don’t maximize all the potential funding opportunities they have access to in the first place. Multiply that by the number of potential applications that could be shared on a network that also supports video surveillance, and you could end up swimming among a hundred or more grant programs from agencies as diverse as the department.

Enter the Stimulus bill, also known as HR1 and more properly, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or ARRA.

ARRA provides unprecedented levels of funding to support a range of policy priorities, including workforce development, green energy, education, healthcare information technology, and public safety. The most significant investment in the public safety area is through the Justice Assistance Grants, or JAG, program. JAG had been languishing along with many Department of Justice programs since the Department of Homeland Security shed its mission to prepare for, respond, and deter terrorist attacks in America in favor of a more broadly stated “all-hazards” orientation, which, coincidentally, overlapped with many of the functions for which the JAG program was created as the primary federal funding source for public safety agencies and justice administration.

Gradually diminishing funding over the years, along with the threat of elimination in nearly every budget proposed from 2002-2009, left the JAG program with $350 million to administer across the country in federal fiscal year 2008. ARRA added $2 billion to the JAG program for FFY2009, and it created an additional $200 million competitive program for law enforcement and courts, called the Edward Byrne Competitive Grants Program. And they’re all open right now.

Additional funding for rural lawn enforcement, border security, and port and transit projects round out the Recovery funding supporting specific functional elements of public safety and, by extension, expanded funding for video security.

The best approach to maximizing funding for your video project, from stimulus and non-stimulus funding is to start with a plan, a written description of the project with a budget and identified implementation team. Once you know what you need to make the project a reality, you can begin to identify the funding sources that will support the type of project you have envisioned, at the scale you need, and that you are eligible to apply to.

Once you’ve got the plan and a set of potential funders, you’ll be ready to start to develop a pipeline of applications that will produce a reliable revenue stream for each phase of your project.

The Recovery Act provides additional resources to make your project happen, but it will be important to stay focused on the fact that these funds will become grant opportunities, administered in parallel with annual grant programs, and that the principles of good grantseeking will apply.

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Related Items:

• Green Bay Police expands security network to port surveillance

• Kratos Awarded $2 Million in New Security System, Video Surveillance and Fire Safety Systems Integration Work

• UBM to launch new homeland security show in San Diego in February 2012

• Video Cameras demo for safety and security

• WEBINAR: Lessons Learned from Wireless Video Monitoring for Dynamic Traffic Light Synchronization as part of Operation GreenLight in Lenexa (KS)


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