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2023 Office of Law Enforcement Recruitment Fund Request for Proposals

Applications are due December 16, 2022 at 5:00 p.m.

The Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS) is a division of the Ohio Department of Public Safety. By statute, OCJS is the lead justice planning and assistance agency for the state, administering millions of dollars in state and federal criminal justice funding every year. OCJS also evaluates programs and develops technology, training, and products for criminal justice professionals and communities.

OCJS & Office of Law Enforcement Recruitment Fund

The Office of Law Enforcement Recruitment (OLER) was established in 2020 by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and is housed within OCJS. The office links law enforcement agencies with community resources to expand the applicant pool to a diverse network of individuals representative of the communities they serve. The following are the goals of the office:

  1. Assist law enforcement agencies in increasing the pool of qualified applicants and the retention of officers.
  2. Collaborate with law enforcement professionals to develop best practices in the recruitment, selection, and retention of law enforcement candidates who are suited for this rewarding profession.
  3. Utilize best practices and actively engages minorities and women to consider a career in law enforcement.
  4. Focus on supporting executive management and human resources in their vital role in the recruitment, selection process, and retention of those officers.

What to Expect

Application. The application forms will be made available through OCJS’s online grants management system on November 18, 2022. For technical assistance on any part of the Office of Law Enforcement Recruitment Fund application, call OCJS at 614.466.7782 and ask to speak to your Grants Coordinator.

Regional Contacts: https://dx-authoring.myohio.gov/wps/myportal/gov/ocjs/grants-funding-monitoring/grants-administration/contact

OCJS and OLER staff competitively review grant proposals using an established process. Reviewers assure project budget costs are allowable and directly relate to the program. OCJS conducts internal compliance reviews of funded projects, assessing the timeliness and thoroughness of financial and programmatic reporting. The OCJS Executive Director makes final funding recommendations, and the Director of the Ohio Department of Public Safety approves them.

Notification. Funding decisions will be posted on the OCJS and OLER websites and notifications will be emailed to selected applicants. Before final approval, applicants must complete and return all required documents.

Eligible Applicants

Eligible law enforcement applicants include: State, county, municipal, township, college/university, village and other specialized law enforcement agencies. These agencies may only apply for a grant award from the Ohio Law Enforcement Recruitment fund if they meet the following criteria:

Law enforcement agencies applying under this solicitation must be in compliance with crime statistics reporting, using either the Ohio Incident-Based Reporting System (OIBRS) or the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program’s National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) Collection Application (NCA), per Ohio Revised Code Section 5502.62(C)(6).

Eligibility Requirements

The Office of Law Enforcement Recruitment Fund applicants must have an organization, or subgrantee, that will serve as the fiduciary agent and assume overall responsibility for the grant. This organization, or subgrantee, must be a unit of local government. A unit of local government has legislative autonomy, jurisdiction, and authority to act in certain circumstances. Units of government include a county, municipality, township, or village. If two or more jointly apply, they must designate one body to take the lead role and identify that agency's fiscal officer. The law enforcement agency cannot act as the subgrantee.

Applicant Training

A voluntary Bidders Training webinar for the 2022 Office of Law Enforcement Recruitment Fund will take place Thursday, December 8, 2022, 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM. The training will provide information helpful for both the application preparation and review process. Please register for the webinar at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8326003850007426571 to complete your registration.

Program Purpose

The purpose of the Office of Law Enforcement Recruitment Funds is to encourage law enforcement agencies to collaborate with the communities they serve and create programming or improve internal recruitment, selection, and retention processes to help develop a diverse network of qualified applicants.

This is a competitive grant where funding preference is given to applications proposing the most effective ways to increase the recruitment, hiring, and retention of qualified law enforcement officers with an emphasis on how your agency will recruit qualified women and minority officers in Ohio.

Evidence-Based Programs and Practices

Funding evidence-based programs and practices are a priority and OCJS has made available a pool of academic researchers who are willing to provide technical assistance at no cost to those applicants who seek assistance in the planning, implementation, and/or evaluation of their proposed program. These researchers are part of the Ohio Consortium of Crime Science (OCCS), and their mission is to provide evidence-based solutions to the real-world problems faced by local criminal justice agencies. Please complete all components of your proposal and note in the Project Description whether you are considering requesting assistance from the OCCS, and if so, the type of assistance you would like to have. If your grant application is funded, we will connect you with a researcher with expertise in your field once all pre-award conditions are met.

For further information on the OCCS and the types of assistance they can offer, please go to the OCJS home page and click on the OCCS link on the right-hand side of the page, or use the following link: https://ocjs.ohio.gov/research-and-data/ohio-consortium-of-crime-science.

Length of Funding

Projects may apply for up to 12 months of funding, operating from January 1, 2023 to December 31, 2023. Projects will be reimbursed for approved budget expenditures on a quarterly basis.

Fiscal Considerations

All requested budget items must be related to the purpose of increasing the pool of qualified applicants, and the engagement, recruitment, selection and retention of qualified women and minority officers.

External Audit or Financial Report

Please e-mail a copy of your organization’s most recent external audit or most recent financial report as part of your application packet to OfficeofRecruitment@dps.ohio.gov. This allows OCJS to ensure requirements are met for 2 C.F.R. § 200.331(f). Single Audit Act Amendment of 1996, and the OMB Circular A-133. In the subject line of the e-mail, please state your organization's’ name followed by “application audit”

Audit Submission Requirements

OCJS may choose not to approve an applicant for an award if the applicant:

  • Does not submit, or provide upon request, an annual audit in accordance with the Single Audit Act Amendments of 1996 (pdf), OMB Circular A-133, the OMB Circular Compliance Supplement and Government Auditing Standards.
  • Does not submit an annual financial review completed by a Certified Public Accountant (if the organization has been in business less than two years or receives less than $750,000 annually in federal funding); or
  • Has an overdue audit report, an open audit report that has not been responded to, or if the applicant has not tried to resolve the issues identified in the audit.

Proposal Components

Use the following checklist as a general guide for submitting proposals to OCJS. Read the entire Office of Law Enforcement Recruitment Fund RFP before completing and submitting proposals.

  • Title Page
  • Problem Statement
  • Project Description
  • Sustainability/Accomplishments/Obstacles
  • Project Objectives
  • Timeline/Activities
  • Organization/Staff Capacity and Collaboration
  • Budget
  • Executive Summary

Format and Submission

Applications are submitted online through the OCJS Grants Management System. Application materials will be available in the online Grants Management System on November 18, 2022. New applicants must first register in the online grant system at www.ocjsgrants.com. Applicants that have previously used the system may use the existing account. It is recommended that new applicants contact OCJS once they register in the system.

The deadline for submission is by 5:00 p.m. EST on December 16, 2022. Failure to follow the specified requirements will also result in the application not being reviewed or considered for funding.

IMPORTANT: Applications must be in the APPLICATION SUBMITTED STATUS in the OCJS Grants Management System to be considered for funding.

For technical assistance on any part of the Office of Law Enforcement Recruitment Fund application, call OCJS at 614.466.7782 and ask to speak to your Grants Coordinator. Regional Contacts: https://dx-authoring.myohio.gov/wps/myportal/gov/ocjs/grants-funding-monitoring/grants-administration/contact

Funding Categories

TA - Peace Officer Basic Training Academy

Funding can be used to reimburse local law enforcement agencies up to $15,000 ($7,500 for each recruit) to cover academy expenses for up to two (2) recruits who successfully complete the peace officer basic training academy during the grant period and have committed to working at the sponsoring agency for a minimum timeframe specified by that agency. Under extenuating circumstances, if an agency has provided a per diem to the enrolled recruit, the agency may request reimbursement for up to $50 a day, for up to two (2) recruits participating in the peace officer basic training academy. Law enforcement agencies must meet the following criteria to be considered for this category of funding:

  1. Department size: Law enforcement agencies with no more than 20 sworn peace officers when at capacity.
  2. Law enforcement agencies must have directly paid academy fees for a recruit(s) to participate in the peace officer basic training academy during the grant period.
  3. Recruits have entered into conditional employment contracts dependent on the successful completion of the peace officer basic training academy.
  4. Applicants who demonstrate a recruitment and hiring practice that prioritizes increasing qualified women and minority officers will be given priority consideration.

Restrictions:

  • Must ensure any awarded peace officer basic training academy and recruitment funding requests are not duplicated with any approved ARPA funds related to hiring and recruitment.
Core Program Elements Objective Examples
  • Pay for recruits to go through the Peace Officer Basic Training Academy.
  • Prioritizes increasing qualified and diverse applicants who may not have been able to afford the training academy for peace officer certification.
Objective Example 1:
Provide <insert number here> recruits with funding who successfully completed the Peace Officer Basic Training Academy during the grant period.

Performance Indicator Example 1:
Number of recruits who successfully completed the Peace Officer Basix Training Academy during the grant period.

Objective Example 2:
Our agency will fund <insert number here> women and/or minority recruits who successfully complete the Peace Officer Basic Training Academy.

Performance Indicator Example 2:
Number of grant funded women and/or minority recruits who successfully complete the Peace Officer Basic Training Academy.

RC – Recruitment

1 - Law Enforcement Exploring or Explorer’s Program
Law Enforcement Exploring or Explorer’s Program is a unique career exploration program for youth ages 14-20. Students have the opportunity to explore career opportunities within law enforcement in an exciting and informal environment. Applicants will need to detail how their program will provide a diverse group of students with an opportunity to learn about the variety of career opportunities within law enforcement, provide networking opportunities, and how students will get hands-on experience. For more information about Explorer’s Programs and how to get started, please visit the Exploring website.
Core Program Elements Objective Examples
  • Exploring is based on a unique and dynamic relationship between youth and the organizations in their communities.
  • Develops potential contacts that may broaden employment options for participants.
  • Facilitates service-learning opportunities.
  • Encourages the skills and desire to help others.
  • The result is a program of hands-on interactive activities that helps youth pursue their special interests, grow, and develop.
Objective Example 1:
Provide Explorer’s Program for up to <insert number here> youth in our community during the grant period.

Performance Indicator Example 1:
Number of youths who were engaged in your Explorer’s Program during the grant period.

Objective Example 2:
Our agency will put on <insert number here> Explorer’s Programs during the grant period.

Performance Indicator Example 2:
Number of Explorer’s Programs conducted during the grant period.
2 - Law Enforcement Cadet Program
Law Enforcement Cadet Program is a law enforcement apprenticeship program that offers training and varied work assignments for individuals between the ages of 18 to 21 years. Cadet programs are designed to assist cadets in transitioning into the position of full-time police officer. This opportunity provides qualified participants with a chance to experience the real challenges and personal rewards of a career in law enforcement. Cadets are rotated through a variety of divisions to provide exposure to the many aspects of policing.
Core Program Elements Objective Examples
  • Provides learning objectives, tasks, and goals for the cadets enrolled in the program.
  • Provides leadership opportunities through planning events, making decisions, teaching and mentoring junior-ranking cadets.
  • Hands-on interactive activities and experiences that help develop future law enforcement officers that includes review of law enforcement policies, procedures, and practices.
  • Direct Hire program or shortened hiring process for those who successfully complete a cadet program and meet all other necessary qualifications.
Objective 1 Example:
Provide a Cadet Program experience for up to <insert number here> young adults during the grant period.

Performance Indicator Example 1:
Number of young adults participating in your Cadet Program during the grant period.

Objective 2 Example:
Recruit <insert number here> women and/or minority cadets into the program during the grant period.

Performance Indicator Example 2:
Number of women and/or minority cadets recruited during the grant period.
3 - College Internships
College Internships help lay a foundation for recruiting qualified individuals to work for an agency. By developing and working with interns, an agency can foster growth in an inexperienced individual who could one day play a major role within the agency. Law enforcement agencies can apply for reimbursement to support up to <insert number> interns during a students’ junior and senior years at their college or university. Eligible law enforcement agencies will need to have no more than 10 full-time staff, when at capacity, to apply for this category of funding.
Core Program Elements Objective Examples
  • Provides field experience and interactive work experience in administrative areas.
  • Ongoing feedback on the goals and projects set for the student in the program.
  • Social and networking opportunities with both the community and within the agency.
  • Training on appropriate but meaningful day-to-day activities within a law enforcement agency.
  • A program of hands-on interactive activities and experiences that help develop future law enforcement officers.
Objective 1 Example:
Provide an intern experience for up to <insert number here> young adults during the grant period.

Performance Indicator Example 1:
Number of college students participating in your internship program during the grant period.

Objective 2 Example:
Recruit <insert number here> women and/or minority interns into the program during the grant period.

Performance Indicator Example 2:
Number of women and/or minority interns recruited during the grant period.
4 - Other
Other recruitment activities or marketing materials that will help engage law enforcement and the community in a law enforcement career. Applicants will need to identify how their program will recruit and engage community members with a special emphasis on how this project will recruit and engage women and minority youth or adults. Applications will also need to clearly describe the proposed activities and approach (i.e., model or practice) to be taken.
Core Program Elements Objective Examples
  • Increase law enforcement agency presence within a community through enhanced marketing efforts.
  • Increase or enhance marketing outlets and methods to attract potential qualified candidates into law enforcement.
Objective 1 Example:
Provide <insert number here> law enforcement/community events during the grant period.

Performance Indicator Example 1:
Number of law enforcement/community events during the grant period

Proposal Narrative

Problem Statement

Applicants should explain or clearly describe the problem or issue to be addressed, and its impact on the community. Application will be evaluated as to how effectively it:

  • clearly provides specific demographic information on the community being served by the agency, such as race, ethnicity,gender, and geography.
  • clearly describes the lack of resources to address the problem, applicant should discuss the gaps in resources or services and explain how the proposed project will help alleviate those gaps.
  • clearly identifies the current number of women and minority officers and civilian staff within agency
  • For agencies seeking funding for the peace officer basic training academy, your problem statement should clearly identify the number of vacancies to be filled by your agency, any recent transfers out of your agency, or upcoming retirements during the grant period.

Project Description

Applicants should describe a plan of action that the proposed project will implement in order to address the identified problem discussed in the problem statement. The application will be evaluated as to how effectively it:

  • clearly describes the proposed activities and approach (i.e., model or practice) to be taken given the nature of the problem to be addressed. The approach should seem logical given the characteristics and needs of the identified target population.
  • clearly describes how the proposed law enforcement activities are linked to the recruitment, selection, and/or retention of women and minority officers and other qualified candidates. This section should be as detailed as possible.
  • clearly documents evidence that the model or practice chosen is appropriate for the outcomes that program wants to achieve with the target population, and clearly justifies why the applicant selected the particular program model for implementation. Applicants should provide a detailed discussion on their plan to implement a model that is evidence-based or incorporates evidence- based practices for the law enforcement field.

Sustainability/Accomplishments/Obstacles

Applicants should describe a plan of action that the proposed project will implement in order to sustain the program activities discussed in the Project Description. Applicants should also describe previous accomplishments and obstacles that have been presented when carrying out similar activities that were discussed in the Project Description. The application will be evaluated as to how effectively it:

  • Explains the steps that will be taken to ensure long-term program sustainability (i.e., the ability for the program to maintain its services over time). The applicant must demonstrate a commitment to the program by describing a plan for maintaining programmatic activities if funding support from OCJS has ended.
  • Describes any previous program accomplishments and how these accomplishments influence program activities. If the current proposal is requesting funds for a continuation of programming activities, these accomplishments should be related to programming that was completed under previous funding.
  • Describes any previous or ongoing programmatic obstacles or challenges and how they were addressed. If the current proposal is requesting funds for a continuation of programming activities, these obstacles should be related to programming that was completed under previous funding.

Project Objectives

Project objectives measure the changes that will result from implementing the proposed project. Applicants must describe these changes by providing details on at least one objective for each project. Each objective must include at least one performance indicator per objective (e.g., something that is measured to indicate a target objective is being met) that identify how change will be measured. Objectives and indicators should be specific, measurable, achievable and within pre-set timeframes. Preferred objective and performance indicator examples for the specific categories can be found on pages 5-7.

Timeline and Activities

Applicants should describe how the programmatic and grant administrative activities as well as the related outcomes and objectives will be reasonably achieved in the given project period. Application will be evaluated as to how effectively it presents a comprehensive, thorough timeline that is well-defined and comprehensively specifies what will be done, who (individuals and organizations) will do it, and when it will be accomplished. Include activities such as OCJS grant reporting deadlines and any other activities specific to the project. The timeline should be reasonable given the nature of the problem, the target population, and the approach/response discussed in earlier sections of the application.

Organization and Staff Capacity

Applicants should provide a comprehensive discussion of the history and accomplishments of the organization responsible for implementing the project. Identify any key staff that will be involved in the project, including the project director and other individuals who will be responsible for administering the grant and implementing the program. Application will be evaluated as to how effectively it:

  • clearly identifies the mission of the agency that will serve as the subgrantee and/or implementing agency.
  • clearly identifies the key staff, including any volunteers that will be participating in the proposed project, including their qualifications, experience, and education.
  • clearly identifies any community partners that will help implement the Office of Law Enforcement Recruitment mission described on page 2, including their role in the projects (proposed or ongoing) and the key staff,and their qualifications and experience.

Budget

Describe all costs associated with program implementation. The application will be evaluated as to how effectively it:

  • Presents a clear detailed budget with a narrative that supports the funding requests.
  • Details reasonable costs needed to successfully achieve program goals, objectives, and activities

Budget Assistance

For information on successful budget completion, such as the Budget Category Overview and Fringe Benefits Summary, please visit https://ocjs.ohio.gov/grants-funding-monitoring/grants-monitoring-fiscal-compliance/compliance-tools

Executive Summary

While not a scored piece of the application, this section is important in that information from the Executive Summary is pulled for reports to various government agencies. Please respond appropriately to the instructions in the grants management system.