AUSTIN (KXAN) — Two grant funding programs were announced this week to help Texas law enforcement agencies send officers to active shooter training and to give agencies bullet-resistant shields.
Gov. Greg Abbott announced Wednesday that applications opened for the programs. These include $3 million for travel expenses to send law enforcement officers to ALERRT active shooter training and $50 million for bullet-resistant shields.
ALERRT, or Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training, has trained over 200,000 first responders with “effective strategies to respond to active attacker events,” the release said. This summer, the ALERRT Center at Texas State University has trained over 3,000 officers, with over 100 more classes scheduled in the next months.
Agencies eligible for travel aid funding include independent school districts, higher education institutions, local government and other educational institutions with law enforcement agencies. The Governor’s Public Safety Office is accepting applications through Aug. 31, 2023.
The bullet-resistant shields grant program is eligible for these agencies, as well as the Texas Department of Public Safety. The deadline to apply for this program is Sept. 16.
Officers who can receive these shields must have either 16 hours of ALERRT training in the past two years or commit to attending in the next two years, the governor’s release said.
“These new funds will give law enforcement officers expanded access to training for active shooter scenarios, as well as critical protective equipment,” Abbott said in the release. “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 added school safety and mental health initiatives. Other efforts include $7 million to the Texas School Safety Center for on-site campus measures and $17.1 million for districts to buy silent panic alert technology.