The economic stimulus package being developed in Congress offers both challenges and opportunities for law enforcement agencies, an analysis by Galain Solutions indicates.

While the recession puts the squeeze on state budgets, one study indicates 63 percent of local police departments anticipate cutting their budgets, 44 percent of those surveyed believed crime was on the rise due to the economic crisis.

There are several funding sources available to help departments deal with this challenge, but they have to know what they want and be prepared to roll it out quickly. And that can be tricky, the study's author, Rick Wimberly, president of Galain Solutions, writes.

The House version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 includes a $79 billion State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, which contains $30 billion that could be spent on public safety at governors' discretion.

The bill contains another $4 billion specifically for the Byrne and Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant programs which can be spent on developing technologies that emphasize crime prevention. According to Wimberly's analysis, 50 percent of COPS grants have been reserved for organizations serving populations of 150,000 or less. COPS grants are expected to be awarded 90 days after the passage of the stimulus bill.


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