By STEFAN MODRICH
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Oct. 16 that $296 million in grants from the state’s Public Safety Office would be directed toward a variety of public safety initiatives across the state.
Of that amount, $5,685,383.15 will go to various Fort Bend County entities or jurisdictions.
The funding was broken down into 12 categories: Addressing Violence Against Women, Bullet Resistant Vests, Homeland Security, Human Trafficking, Justice Assistance, Juvenile Justice and Truancy Prevention, Local Border Security (Border Star), SAFE Ready Facilities, Serving Victims of Crime, Specialty Courts, Statewide Radio Infrastructure and Texas Anti-Gang.
The largest individual award with implications for the Fort Bend area was a $1.1 million grant to the Houston-Galveston Area Council for its Tri-County Tower project, with three proposed towers, including one in Manvel, which is aimed at improving public safety radio coverage for Fort Bend County, Harris County and Brazoria County.
It was awarded from the Office of the Governor as a result of the Texas General Appropriations Act.
Fort Bend County was awarded a grant of $182,607 for its Violence against Women Prosecutor and Investigator project from the Department of Justice. It also received $106,565 for rifle-resistant body armor from the Texas General Appropriations Act.
The county also applied for several grants from the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency.
For Community Preparedness, it received $331,068. For Hazmat Sustainment/Enhancement it was awarded $376,000 and an additional $107,667 to hire an analyst at its Houston Regional Intelligence Service Center. A Collapse Search and Rescue grant netted the county $58,248. It also received $782,401 for SWAT/Helicopter Sustainment.
The county also received an Emergency Operations Center Technology Sustainment of $58,860 and $313,444 for Regional Planners. It was awarded $116,495.30 for Management and Administration and $125,000 for Cyber Planning and Training. For Emergency Public Information System Sustainment, the county received $68,200.
Additionally, $123,500 in state funding from the Texas General Appropriations Act went to the county’s Felony and Misdemeanor Drug Court Program.
From the Department of Justice, five grants from the Criminal Justice Division and Victim Services were allocated to Fort Bend County, including $28,953 for an EMS Mental Health and Wellness Initiative and $47,658.41 for Infant Toddler Court: Healing the Youngest Victims. The county’s IRIS Women’s Program received $119,848.98. A Victim Witness Staff Expansion initiative was awarded $101,154.58 and the Fort Bend County Women’s Center garnered $964,855.15 for Expanding and Enhancing Victim Services.
Fort Bend ISD earned a $400,000 grant from the Department of Justice for its Year 2: Expanding the Campus Victim Assistance Program for K‐12 students.
Memorial Hermann’s Sugar Land Hospital was awarded $50,000 from the Texas General Appropriations Act to be applied toward the Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (SAFE) Ready Facilities Program.
The City of Stafford received $56,261.73 for a Crime Victims Liaison from the Department of Justice.
The City of Meadows Place received $37,889 for a License Plate Recognition Acquisition Project from the Texas General Appropriations Act and $28,707 for a Live Scan System Purchase from the Department of Justice.
“Nothing is more important than the safety and security of Texans, and this grant funding will strengthen our efforts to prevent and combat crime while also supporting victims and survivors,” Abbott said in a statement. “Protecting public safety requires a comprehensive approach, and each of these recipients play an essential role in keeping our communities safe. Texas thanks the hundreds of award recipients for serving their fellow Texans and for working to build a safer and stronger Texas.”
Entities interested in seeking funds to support their public safety initiatives during the next grant cycle for the 2022 fiscal year should reach out to their local council of government to learn about region specific timelines and requirements. The Public Safety Office posts funding opportunity announcements, timelines, and other requirements on the Office of the Governor’s eGrants website.