AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN) — Two grant funding programs were announced this week to help Texas law enforcement send officers for active shooter training and provide agencies with bullet-resistant shields.
Governor Greg Abbott announced Wednesday that applications are open for the programs. These include $3 million for travel costs to send law enforcement officers to ALERRT active shooter training and $50 million for bulletproof shields.
ALERRT, or Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training, has trained more than 200,000 first responders with “effective strategies for responding to active attack events,” the statement said. This summer, Texas State University’s ALERRT center trained more than 3,000 officers, with more than 100 more courses planned in the coming months.
Agencies eligible for travel assistance funding include independent school districts, institutions of higher education, local government, and other educational institutions with law enforcement agencies. The Governor’s Office of Public Safety is accepting applications until August 31, 2023.
The Bullet Shield Grant Program is eligible for these agencies, as well as the Texas Department of Public Safety. The deadline to apply for this program is September 16.
Officers eligible to receive these shields must have completed 16 hours of ALERRT training within the past two years or commit to attending within the next two years, the governor’s statement said.
“These new funds will give law enforcement expanded access to training for active shooter scenarios, as well as essential protective gear,” Abbott said in the statement. “I encourage all eligible law enforcement agencies and local government entities to apply for this additional funding as we work together to keep all Texans safe.”
These programs are part of $105.5 million transferred from the Texas Education Agency in June to support additional school safety and mental health initiatives. Other efforts include $7 million to the Texas School Safety Center for on-campus measures and $17.1 million for districts to purchase silent panic alert technology.
(Information from KXAN.com)