Preventing Violence Against Law Enforcement Officers and Ensuring Officer Resilience and Survivability (VALOR) Initiative FY 2022 Grant Applicant Education Webinar
During this April 6, 2022, webinar, Bureau of Justice Assistance personnel provided details and guidance for potential applicants to the FY 2022 Preventing Violence Against Law Enforcement Officers and Ensuring Officer Resilience and Survivability (VALOR) Initiative solicitation. The presenter discussed the purpose and goals of this funding opportunity; reviewed its eligibility requirements; and addressed frequently asked questions. A Q&A session followed at the end of the presentation.
DARYL FOX: Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to today's webinar, “Preventing Violence Against Law Enforcement Officers and Ensuring Officer Resilience and Survivability, the VALOR Initiative,” hosted by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. At this time, it's my pleasure to introduce today's presenter, Deborah Meader, Policy Advisor with the Bureau of Justice Assistance. Deborah?
DEBORAH MEADER: Thank you so much. Welcome, everyone. And thank you, Daryl. As Daryl mentioned, I am Deborah Meader, a Policy Advisor at the Bureau of Justice Assistance, where I have the great privilege of leading our VALOR Officer Safety and Wellness Initiative. I'm also a former Montgomery County, Maryland police officer.
So before we begin, I want to thank you for joining today to learn a little bit more about our fiscal year 2022 VALOR Initiative funding opportunity. Today, we will go through, do an overview of the VALOR Initiative, talk about the eligibility requirements for applying for this funding opportunity. We’ll also go into the solicitation categories and talk about things to keep in mind. We’ll then allow you some time to ask any questions and we will review resources, resources for grant applicants. So with that, I know there's a lot to cover. Let's get started.
The VALOR Officer Safety and Wellness Initiative began in 20—in 2010. And since then, it has grown to make sure it addresses any and all issues dealing with law enforcement safety and wellness.
We have through the VALOR Initiative trained over 100,000 officers and impacted many, many law enforcement agencies throughout our country. VALOR Initiative is a national training and technical assistance program for state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement. We are a robust and comprehensive suite of programs that again, addresses anything and everything having to do with officer safety and wellness. We provide training both online and in person, customized technical assistance, and we conduct and gather research through our VALOR Initiative.
The ultimate goal of VALOR is to change behavior and culture in a way that makes officer safety and wellness a priority and has the effect of increasing law enforcement, wellness, and safety, agency wellness, and police and community wellness and safety.
So, now let's talk about who can apply for this funding opportunity. For profit and nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher education, also state, county, city, township governments, and federally recognized Native American tribal governments. These types of entities are eligible to apply for one or more of the following four categories.
The first is our VALOR Officer Safety and Wellness Training and Technical Assistance Program, also known as the VALOR Program. Our second category is our National Suicide Awareness for Law Enforcement Officers Program, also known as SAFLEO. Our Law Enforcement Agency and Officer Resilience Training Program, which we call our Resilience Program, and the fourth is the National Law Enforcement Roadway Safety Program, also known as NLERS or as we like to call it the Roadway Safety Program.
BJA expects to make one award under each of these categories. So now I'm going to talk a little bit about each one starting with the VALOR Program.
The VALOR Program is BJA's flagship Officer Safety and Wellness Program. It provides innovative, creative, training, and technical assistance on all things officer safety and wellness for our nation's law enforcement officers and agencies. It is the largest of our VALOR Initiative programs. And it is also the program that supports BJA with our greater—the entire VALOR initiative. It assists by providing marketing and promotion, meeting coordination, and initiative coordination and collaboration. We plan on awarding approximately $6.7 million to one entity for an award period of either 18, 24, or 36 months. That is the period of award performance is something that you select when you are going through the application process.
Being the flagship program, there are many activities required under VALOR. You can find the list of required deliverables on pages 9 and 10 of the solicitation. I'm just going to go through a few of them now, but I really highly encourage you to take a look, read through the solicitation to make sure you have an awareness of all of the deliverables that are required. We also encourage applicants to propose additional deliverables than the ones that we have listed within the solicitation.
So we're looking for organizations with resources and capacity to develop and deliver online and in-person training and technical assistance, sometimes in multiple locations concurrently, or possibly deliver trainings once or twice a week. So the VALOR Program really is pretty high speed, it's a fast-paced program. And entities have to have the capacity to be able to deliver to the needs of the field really with concurrency. We are looking for under the deliverables, we're looking for a suite of trainings that are customized to different level—levels of law enforcement audiences. So we're looking at different ranks, and the training should be customized to those different ranks. We're also looking to deliver training such as our new Safer Together Training, which is the newest training under the VALOR Program. And more information on Safer Together can be found on the—within the solicitation. Under VALOR Program, we are also looking for the entity to provide print and online resources such as publications, posters, training materials, manuals.
We want the VALOR program to provide customized technical assistance to possibly include awarding micro-grants to a small number of law enforcement agencies to assist in the development, implementation, or enhancement of an agency wellness or safety program. As I mentioned before, VALOR will support BJA in the VALOR Initiative coordination of activities, and in the creation of and maintenance of an internal initiative database that we like to call a dashboard that will collect specific data for BJA to use. And we also are looking for ad hoc activities for this entity to be able to provide ad hoc activities to address priorities and the changing needs of the field.
So now let's move on to our SAFLEO Program. BJA's—this is BJA's Law Enforcement Suicide Prevention and Education and Awareness Training and Technical Assistance Program. It is really similar to VALOR Program and that we need an entity that can provide training and technical assistance online and/or virtually possibly concurrently again, throughout the country. This is also another fast-paced program that we need to be able to provide resources at a moment's notice to the field. We plan to award $2.1 million for either an 18-, a 24-, or a 36-month period.
Again, the—you as the applicant chooses your performance period. With regard to the deliverables, everything done must be culturally informed and culturally sensitive to the policing environment. Understanding of course the sensitivity of the topic of law enforcement suicide, we are looking to change the culture to make talking about law enforcement suicide and suicide ideation part of the natural everyday lexicon of the law enforcement community. We're looking for a suite of trainings customized to the intended audience against—again, looking at the different ranks of law enforcement. But also under SAFLEO, this includes not only law enforcement of all ranks, but also law enforcement family members, friends, counselors, therapists, chaplains, and other appropriate stakeholders. SAFLEO should be able to provide print and online resources, again, such as publications and posters, training materials and manuals, training reinforcement resources and tools. And we want SAFLEO to provide customized technical assistance to law enforcement agencies looking for assistance in promoting, or implementing, developing as officer wellness program and suicide awareness and prevention program within their agencies. Just as the VALOR Program, we need SAFLEO to be ready to pivot at a moment's notice and provide any type of ad hoc deliverables that are based on priority needs. And, of course, the changing needs of the law enforcement field. The deliverables, all of the deliverables for the SAFLEO Program, you can find on pages 11 and 12 of the solicitation.
So next, we've got our third category, which is our Resilience Program. BJA's Resilience Training Program provides law enforcement officers and law enforcement agencies with training and technical assistance to help build and strengthen law enforcement resilience. We do this through teaching tools and—through teaching tools and skills that strengthen coping and resilience for law enforcement officers. We plan to award $1.8 million for either an 18- or a 24-month period. And we also need this entity to have the capacity to further enhance this program and continue to increase the number of officers and agencies that we train. Regarding the deliverables, we are looking for really creative evidence-based suite of courses and training materials for law enforcement that can be delivered in-person and/or virtually, print and online resources, again, posters, manuals, publications. We're looking for the provision of customized technical assistance for agencies, and also that ability to pivot and provide ad hoc tasks and activities and deliverables to fulfill the need of the law enforcement field. Again, to see the full list of required deliverables for our Resilience Program, please see pages 12 and 13 of the solicitation.
Our last category is our NLERS Program or what, as I said, we like to call our Roadway Safety Program. This program provides training and technical assistance to officers, agency—and agencies addressing the many different concerns and dangers that officers face on our nation's roadways. This includes traffic stops, directing traffic, assisting motorists, pursuits, driving in all types of weather and conditions. We expect to award 1.1 million for either an 18- or a 24-month period. The deliverables under this category, we're looking for a suite of trainings customized to each law enforcement audience, again, by rank. We're looking for customized technical assistance for agencies to help them promote and increase awareness of roadway safety. We're looking for print and online resources so again, the publications, the posters, we're also looking for webinars and podcasts and reinforcement tools. The entity who applies for this should be able to provide training and technical assistance either concurrently in different locations, or really with marked frequency. And we're looking for the development and distribution of a roadway safety campaign that agencies can adopt within their agency. And just as the other three categories, we're looking for this entity to be able to provide ad hoc, very timely assistance and pivot to provide deliverables and resources to—again, to fill the need that the law enforcement field might have.
To see a full list of the deliverables, please take a look at page 13 and 14 of the solicitation.
Now, things to keep in mind as you're developing your applications. There are certain things that we're asking within the VALOR solicitation to have included within your application. Those are the—our—a training delivery chart. And there is an example of what that chart might look like. You're not wedded to using that particular format, but it's just an example. A training delivery chart, subject, we need to have subject matter expert and key personnel resumes included within the application that can be again as a—as an addendum or an attachment. It doesn't have to be a part of the narrative. We are also needing a program timeline for major milestones and deliverables. And we're looking and encouraging you all to please propose and provide additional deliverables based on what you all believe is the need in the field. So aside from all of the deliverables that are listed within the solicitation, please propose additional solicitations—additional deliverables.
Make sure that you are reading the solicitation carefully to ensure that you are addressing all of the required deliverables, including the ones I didn't specifically mention today, as well as other pieces of information such as the additional pieces to add to your application. Other things to keep in mind, awarded entities will be required to work closely with BJA. We will have standing calls, standing video chats. There's going to be a lot of coordination that is needed between the awarded entity and BJA. Each program must create an advisory board that is for the use of the awardee to help guide you all as you are developing deliverables as you are talking about how to recommend—giving recommendations on which way to go with the programs. Awarded entities will be a part of our VALOR Initiative, which is part of a larger body. You will all be programmed under the VALOR Initiative. This means we expect for the program to promote the initiative, to participate in two VALOR Initiative provider meetings a year, and those are currently set to be one virtual meeting and one in-person meeting in Washington, D.C. And we also expect for there to be a lot of coordinating and collaborating with your partner VALOR Initiative providers. Additionally, we are—we expect the awarded entities to use the VALOR Initiative dashboard to provide really up-to-date data that BJA will need to fulfill requests from the field, to fulfill information requests that come in to us. We expect you to, again, be prepared to provide ad hoc deliverables and tasks. It—it's really important to be able to be responsive to the field in this way. The VALOR Initiative is an important and highly visible initiative. And as the--as you know, the complex—the field of law enforcement is very complex and so we need to be able to be as responsive as possible, which means many times adding those ad hoc activities. You should also know that there is the possibility of continuation funding that will be subject to available appropriations and also subject to program performance and priority considerations by BJA.
Finally, I want to address some frequently asked questions that we've received in the past related to the VALOR Initiative solicitation. The first is, is this solicitation opportunity, is this a funding opportunity, one for the applicant to apply to receive funding for training and technical assistance? And no, this is not a funding opportunity for an entity to apply to receive money to provide training and technical assistance.
This—this funding opportunity is for an entity to develop and distribute training to law enforcement agencies. So a law enforcement agency should not be applying requesting funding to pay for training. Instead, entities need to be requesting funding to develop and deliver training to the law enforcement field.
Can you apply to more than one category? Absolutely. If you are—if your organization is one that you feel you can apply to more than one of the four categories listed under the solicitation, we welcome you to do that. Just make sure that you are specifically addressing each category that you are applying under. Third question we receive is what should be included in the application? We ask for a lot under VALOR. So please make sure to take a look at the application and submission information section that starts on page 16 of the solicitation. But just quickly to give you an idea, among of the things that are needed is the project abstract, a project narrative, a budget worksheet and a budget narrative. Again, that training delivery chart, we're looking for a timeline for the milestones and we're looking for the resumes of the subject matter experts and the key personnel. And again, that's among some other pieces that are not specific to the VALOR Initiative but that are still required. So please take a look at page 16 under application and submission information.
Can we partner with other entities? Yes. You can certainly partner with another entity that is working on the topic of the category, but only one entity can actually submit the application. And they will be the entity that is assuming fiscal and management responsibilities of the work under that program. We encourage you, when possible, if you have partner organizations that you know you want to work with, certainly reach—you know, have that coordination, that talk with them, and whenever possible, identify them within the application when you submit the application.
Now, I know this is a lot of information, because of that, we have some resources to help you during the application process. First, of course, this is a solicitation. Please, please, please read the solicitation. Take a look at it. Make sure that you understand the solicitation. For the actual mechanics of applying, which is really a two-step process. The first is Grants.gov and this is for submitting your SF-424 and your SF-LLL. We have customer support by email and by phone that you can see right there on the screen. And it also provides information on other available funding opportunities from the federal government. So if you have any issues when you're going through the process of submitting your SF-424 or your SF-LLL, please reach out to Grants.gov either by phone or email. The second step is JustGrants. This is where you will submit the full application. Again, customer support is available by phone or email. And so any troubleshooting, technical support, please reach out to JustGrants.
And for specific questions, again, related to the solicitation itself, we have the OJP Response Center. This is where you can submit your questions specific to the VALOR solicitation. And you can also subscribe to receive email notifications of new funding opportunities and resources at OJP.gov as well and you'll see that information down below. So see—and also I believe, they'll put the link in the chat.
And finally, some reminders of the deadlines. I encourage you please do not wait for these deadlines. Try to—try to work on submission sooner than later because we want to make sure you avoid any types of technical issues. And if you do have any types of technical issues, we want you to have enough time to reach out to our customer service centers in order to facilitate you in getting your application submitted. So, the deadlines for Grants.gov, this is for the SF-424 and the SF-LLL. The deadline for submission into Grants.gov is Friday, May 20th at 8:59 p.m. Now this is only for the VALOR Initiative solicitation. So again, it is Friday, May 20th at 8:59 p.m. For the second step, which is JustGrants, that is where you will actually submit the full application. That one is—the deadline is five days later which is on Wednesday, May 25th at 8:59 p.m. And again, I encourage you please, please do not wait. Give yourself—give yourself some wiggle room. Don't wait until the 20th or the 25th to make those submissions. I want to quickly provide you some other resources available to applicants. These, as you'll see on the screen, are guides to apply. We have the financial guide. We have an online grants financial management training that you can take and grant application resource guide as well. So please, please stay connected to us. We want you to subscribe for emails to get updates or you can follow us on Facebook or Twitter. And of course, you can visit the bja.gov website. And we will put up again the grants.gov and the JustGrants and the Solicitation Content Assistance Center right there on your screen for you. So I know this is a lot. I'd like to stop now and see if there are any questions.
DARYL FOX: Certainly, thank you, Deborah. So once again, if you do have a question on the bottom far right of your screen, you'll see three dots, click there and you'll see the Q&A. Send your question to all panelists. We'll go ahead and coordinate those and get those out here. Just a reminder as well, the PowerPoint, recording, and transcript for today will be posted to the BJA website. So if you want to go back and reference anything discussed today, you will have a chance to do so.
So the first question is coming in, “Is there a possibility of a subaward or a micro-grant or research to support the VALOR Initiative data and analysis or would that have to be a subaward attached to the single entity who was selected for this award?”
DEBORAH MEADER: Okay. Let me see if I understand the question. So we—you can always do a subaward again partnering with an entity within any of the four categories
really. It wouldn't necessarily be considered a micro-grant. It would just be a subaward to that entity to provide research and assistance in that route.
DARYL FOX: “We have a logic model presentation for the training. Does that suffice for the abstract and the training timeline?”
DEBORAH MEADER: That one would be a little—I'm not exactly sure about that one. I would have to, kind of, be able to see what that looks like. The abstract, really what we're looking for is really just a one pager that just is, kind of, that executive summary of what the proposed program and the statement of work is going to be for that project. So if that document has that and it's just a one page, again, executive summary, then that's—that is what we're looking for. For the timeline, for the milestones, really, it can be any type of format as long as it shows, you know, either by quarters or by months or by specific dates when the major milestones are expected to be delivered or developed, just the important key phases of development and delivery of training and resources. So be that a chart, be that a list, if the document has that where it identifies the timeline and what the specific major piece is, that's what we'd look for under the timeline.
DARYL FOX: The question came in about the deadline times. “Are they based on Eastern Time?” I would just confirm. Yeah, that is correct. So mentioning here, the deadlines is 8:59 p.m. Eastern Time are the specific deadlines. So as Deborah mentioned, you know, definitely try to plan in advance, get those [INDISTINCT] that.
“Do probation parole officers count as a law enforcement officer or are you looking at police officers specifically?”
DEBORAH MEADER: We—so then our main audience has been sworn state, local, and tribal, and territorial police officers, but we also—if you will take a look at the solicitation, we also are looking at corrections officers and certainly we would explore and would be happy to welcome any proposed work for probation officers and the like.
DARYL FOX: And then a couple of questions about the link in the solicitation that all the deliverables are mentioned. “Is that within the particular solicitation?” We could go ahead and enter that into the—into chat for you to access for that. “The grant is asking for a national trainer. Does that mean the entity will be responsible for training all across the nation as opposed to being responsible for a particular state or region?”
DEBORAH MEADER: We are looking for an entity that can provide training and technical assistance throughout the country. So, yes, we're looking at all states, all territories within the United States.
DARYL FOX: “In regards to the timeline, again, is the timeline referring to the implementation of the training or of the proposed results of the training itself?”
DEBORAH MEADER: Anything and everything in between. We're looking at—yeah, for the timeline, yes. Identify when you expect the training to be ready for BJA to take a look at, when you expect the training to be able to be delivered to the field, and then when you expect to be able to do the evaluations of the trainings. So, yes, it's everything having to do, again, with those major milestones that are all rolled into what it takes to provide training, technical assistance, and to develop and disseminate resources such as publications and webinars and posters.
DARYL FOX: If there's any more questions, once again, if you want to go ahead and enter that in the Q&A box, select all panelists, we'll be sure to get to it. And then as far as intellectual property of the training that one by BJA, as a result of this award.
DEBORAH MEADER: Yes. If it is something that is going to be created with the awarding of this funding to that entity, then yes, it would be owned by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. If you are bringing an already created training or resources, then that—that's a little bit of a different story there. The intellectual property would be—would stay with the entity. It's only anything that is created from scratch at the beginning of the award--from the beginning of the award.
DARYL FOX: “Does the solicitation pay for backfill for those officers working under the grant? Does it cover salary and benefits overtime?”
DEBORAH MEADER: For—I'm sorry. For officers who are attending training? Is that what the question is?
DARYL FOX: The question just says, "Does it pay for backfill for those officers working under the grant?"
DEBORAH MEADER: Okay. So if we have officers who are deemed subject matter experts and for example, are going to be providing the training, they're going to be one of the instructors, or if they're going to be working under contract to help in the development of the curriculum, then they certainly can get compensated for the time and their expertise. We, though, cannot provide funding to allow for paying officers to attend the training. So, yeah, for overtime, we--that's not something that would be covered under this funding opportunity.
DARYL FOX: And a couple of questions on the training needs and yes, as mentioned, it will be offered throughout the country nationwide, not just a specific state or locality. “So regarding the training again, if—is this entity still eligible for the award if the training has already been created and is about to run its first pilot?”
DEBORAH MEADER: I'm sorry. Can you ask that--can you repeat that question?
DARYL FOX: Yeah. “Am I still eligible for the award if the training has already been created and is about to run its first pilot?”
DEBORAH MEADER: Yes, absolutely. You can propose to use that training as one of the trainings that would be provided under whichever one of the programs it is that you would be applying for.
DARYL FOX: Okay. We could just hang on a couple more moments here. Once again, if you do have a question, go ahead and enter that in. And some important context information, a slide I have had up for a while. So I'll just switch that to the Stay Connected. So if you do want to stay up to date on what's coming out through BJA, you can do so through these means. That seems to be the end of the questions at this point. Deborah, is there anything in closing you wanted to mention?
DEBORAH MEADER: Great. Thank you so much, Daryl. Thank you again all for joining. As I said before, the VALOR Initiative really is our cornerstone officer safety and wellness initiative within BJA. And we are really excited to be able to continue this initiative and to continue to provide really much needed critical training and technical assistance to our law enforcement throughout our—the country. So we welcome your applications and please do not hesitate to reach out to any of the resources, any of the customer service centers should you have any questions. That's all for me. Thank you very much.
DARYL FOX: Great. So on behalf of the Bureau of Justice Assistance and our panelist, we want to thank you for joining today's webinar. This will end today's presentation
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