Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted announced on Dec. 6 details of a proposal that would invest hundreds of millions of dollars into initiatives to protect Ohio's citizens from violence and support first responder resilience and recovery.
The proposal would award $250 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to state and local first-responder agencies to counter increases in violent crime and to mitigate impacts to staffing levels and first-responder wellness caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
ARPA funding ends December 31, 2024.
A total of $175 million in ARPA funds would support the work of state and local law enforcement to prevent and solve crimes in communities that have experienced an increase in violence or have faced difficulties combatting violence during the pandemic. A total of $75 million would go toward supporting the resilience and recovery of first-responder entities that have faced new challenges and stressors brought on by COVID-19.
ARPA Funding Ends December 31, 2024
- Although individual grants will likely have shorter timeframes, the ARPA funds are allowable for costs incurred during the period from March 3, 2021 through December 31, 2024.
- Funds for obligations incurred by December 31, 2024 must be expended by December 31, 2026.
RFP & Related Materials
First Responder Wellness, Recruitment, Retention & Resiliency
American Rescue Plan Act Request for Proposals - CLOSED June 17, 2022
Law Enforcement Violence Reduction & Staffing
American Rescue Plan Act Request for Proposals - CLOSED April 29, 2022
Violent Crime Reduction Strategy Informational Materials
Court Backlog Reduction
What are the allowable purposes for use of these funds?
As described in HB 169 (House Bill 169 | 134th General Assembly | Ohio House of Representatives), the purposes of these funds are to respond to the impacts of the pandemic by reducing violence and the challenges of addressing violence in Ohio’s communities, and by bolstering and supporting Ohio’s first responders. To fulfill the statutory purposes of ARPA dollars, per the ARPA final rule, funds must be used “responding to the public health emergency or its negative economic impacts.” To be eligible for award, projects must fulfill the purposes of both HB 169 and ARPA.
Where can I find the federal ARPA guidelines and regulations?
The Department of Treasury’s final rule (SLFRF-Final-Rule.pdf (treasury.gov)), the final rule overview (Coronavirus State & Local Fiscal Recovery Funds: Overview of the Final Rule (treasury.gov)), the compliance and reporting guidance (SLFRF Compliance and Reporting Guidance Update 2.1 final (treasury.gov)) and the FAQs (Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds FAQs (treasury.gov)) are all available online.
What is the total amount of funding available?
A total of $250 million has been appropriated and will be administered by the Ohio Department of Public Safety. $175 million is dedicated to supporting law enforcement and violence reduction, and will be granted through the Office of Criminal Justice Services. $75 million is dedicated to first responder recruitment, retention and wellness, and will be granted through the Emergency Management Agency.
When will funding be available?
Requests for proposals (RFPs) will be developed and distributed for projects including law enforcement violence reduction and staffing; first responder wellness, recruitment, retention and resiliency; and community violence prevention/reduction. The first of these RFPs, for law enforcement violence reduction, was released in April 2022, and the first responder RFP was released in May 2022. Additional RFPs are planned for the summer of 2022.
How will I know when RFPs are released?
The Department of Public Safety will make extensive outreach to communities and prospective applicants, including law enforcement agencies and all other first responders. To sign up to receive notification on ARPA as well as other grants, click the link ODPS | Office of Criminal Justice Services (ohio.gov) and submit your email address through the box below “Stay Connected” on the right side of the page.
What is the timeframe for these funds?
Although individual grants will likely have shorter timeframes, the ARPA funds are allowable for costs incurred during the period from March 3, 2021 through December 31, 2024. Funds for obligations incurred by December 31, 2024 must be expended by December 31, 2026.
Is there a limit on the dollar amount requested in my grant application?
No. However, proposals must be proportionate to address the problem (e.g. community violence, public sector staffing) and within eligibility guidelines, keeping in mind the timeframe and sustainability beyond the grant period.
If I am applying for multiple projects and/or multiple purposes areas within one RFP, do I need to submit multiple applications?
No. To make this as easy as possible for applicants, only one application needs to be submitted in response to an RFP.
Can I purchase equipment with these funds?
Technology and equipment that advance law enforcement’s response to an increase in violence (or increased difficulty responding to the effects of violence) due to the pandemic are allowable expenses. In other cases, equipment may be an allowable expense if it is an integral part of the program being proposed. Generally, police cruisers, armored vehicles, fire trucks and ambulances do not meet the ARPA purpose requirements. If a specific case exists where an applicant believes a cruiser purchase is integral to the implementation of a violence reduction strategy, it may be considered individually based on the justification.
How will I know if my project is eligible for funding?
The RFPs will include an eligibility screening tool. This tool will lead the applicant through yes/no questions—some requiring explanation or data to support the answer—to determine if the proposed project is eligible.
Do I need to complete the entire Eligibility Screening Tool?
You only need to complete the purpose area or areas for which you are applying. However, make sure to fully complete the purpose areas that are applicable.
What are law enforcement agencies?
These agencies include police departments, offices of the sheriff, the state highway patrol, and county prosecuting attorneys. However, the terms “law enforcement agency” and “law enforcement officer” are defined in Ohio Revised Code sections 109.573 and 2901.01, respectively, and additional agencies may be included on a case-by-case basis provided they meet the statutory definition and the project proposed meets the eligibility requirements of HB 169 and ARPA funding.
Who are considered first responders?
First responders are those first on the scene of—or first contacted regarding—an emergency situation, including law enforcement officers, emergency medical services (EMS), firefighters and emergency dispatchers.
What are considered the “pre-pandemic” staffing levels?
The number of staff as of January 27, 2020.
If I am applying to restore public sector staffing back to pre-pandemic levels or to re-hire for positions eliminated or vacated since the pandemic began, can I also include equipment, supplies or other items for these staff?
No. However, the costs of recruiting, onboarding and training are allowed.
If we plan to use ARPA dollars to pay for public sector hiring or retention incentives, what are the limits?
The Requests for Proposals summarize ARPA restrictions, including percentage limits and a description of what is reasonably allowed. Any incentives must be in addition to regular compensation, tailored to the need and not exceed amounts traditionally offered by the current employer or competitive employers. Retention incentives must be less than 25% of an individual’s base rate of pay or less than 10% for a group/category of employees. These percent limits apply to annual salary and are for the life of this ARPA funding, meaning that they can be paid in a one-time payment to employees or the equivalent of that one-time amount can be spread out in smaller payments during the grant period. Retention bonuses are allowable for public sector sworn law enforcement officers or staff who support sworn officers (e.g. dispatchers or analysts).
Where in the budget should I list and describe hiring or retention bonuses?
Please list these under Other Costs and describe how and for whom they will be paid.
Does our law enforcement agency need to be submitting crime statistics to be eligible for ARPA funding?
Law enforcement agencies applying under this solicitation should be in compliance with crime statistics reporting, using either the Ohio Incident-Based Reporting System (OIBRS) or the FBI’s NIBRS Collection Application (NCA), per Ohio Revised Code Section 5502.62(C)(6). If not in compliance, the agency must commit to exploring the opportunity to become OIBRS Compliant.
Does our law enforcement agency need to be certified in any standards to be eligible for ARPA funding?
Consistent with the State of Ohio Body-Worn Camera grant program, agencies seeking funding for body-worn cameras must comply with the Ohio Collaborative Law Enforcement Agency Certification program’s body-worn camera standard. For further information on the certification process, visit: https://www.ocjs.ohio.gov/ohiocollaborative/
Where can I find a map of the Qualified Census Tracts (QCTs)?
To see a map of the QCT locations, go to 2021 and 2022 Small DDAs and QCTs | HUD USER, check the box next to “Color QCT Qualified Tracts” and zoom in on the national map using CTRL + scroll.
Does ARPA funding require local match?
No matching funds are required.
Is ARPA funding subject to stepdown?
Some ARPA funding may be subject to stepdown, which means a larger percentage of the grant will be funded during the beginning timeframe, with a decreasing percentage as the grant progresses.
Will we submit data into the Performance Measurement Tool (PMT) for ARPA funding?
No – ARPA funding is not managed by the Bureau of Justice Assistance and is therefore not subject to PMT reporting; however, performance metrics will be established and updates must be submitted according to the pre-award conditions established for the grant.
Where can I send additional questions?
The following email has been set up for question regarding this program: firstname.lastname@example.org