Governor Abbott Announces ALERRT Travel Assistance and Bullet Resistant Shield Grant Program

August 17, 2022 | Austin, TX | Press release

Governor Greg Abbott today announced that the Governor’s Public Safety Office (PSO) is accepting requests from law enforcement agencies for Advanced Rapid Response Training Travel Assistance for Law Enforcement (ALERRT) and Bullet Resistant Shield Grant Program for fiscal year 2023. In June, the Governor and Texas Legislative Leaders transferred $105.5 million to support additional initiatives in school safety and mental health, including $3 million for local law enforcement to offset travel expenses for ALERRT training and $50 million for bulletproof shields.

“The State of Texas is working to ensure that our law enforcement partners across the state are able to protect our children, our teachers, and our schools as the new school year begins,” said said Governor Abbott. “These new funds will give law enforcement officers expanded access to training for active shooter scenarios, as well as essential protective equipment. 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.

ALERRT is designed to equip first responders with effective strategies to respond to active attacks. ALERRT training is delivered by veteran first responders with proven experience in actively responding to attacks and has served more than 200,000 first responders across the country. Across Texas this summer, ALERRT has trained more than 3,000 agents, delivered dozens of classes, and is in the process of scheduling more than 100 classes in the coming months.

Requests for ALERRT travel assistance are open to independent school districts, institutions of higher education, local government units, and other educational institutions that operate law enforcement agencies employing peace officers . Only after receiving confirmation of enrollment in an ALERRT course can requests for assistance be submitted. The deadline to submit and certify an application is August 31, 2023.

Applications for funding to equip law enforcement officers with bulletproof shields can be submitted by independent school districts, local government units, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and other educational institutions that operate law enforcement agencies employing peace officers. The deadline to submit and certify an application for priority review is September 16, 2022. Additional application periods may be opened if funding permits. All peace officers with a subsidized ballistic shield must have completed 16 hours of ALERRT training within the past 24 months or be committed to attending within the next 24 months.

Law enforcement agencies and local government units interested in learning more about the program can view funding announcements here.

The Governor’s PSO administers federal and state grants to promote strategies that improve public safety, support victims of crime, prevent terrorism, and prepare communities for the threats and dangers that pose the greatest risk to Texans . For more information on PSO’s programs and operations, visit the Governor’s Office of Public Safety website.

Governor Abbott has taken significant steps to provide all available resources to support the community of Uvalde following the tragic shooting at Robb Elementary School. These actions include:

  • Launch of comprehensive plan for the state of Texas to help and support members of the community, including co-location of state agency representatives to the Family Assistance Center for immediate assistance in seeking benefits .
  • Initial investment of $5 million to establish a long-term family resilience center in Uvalde County to serve as a hub for community services, including access to essential mental health resources.
  • Providing $1.25 million to the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District for trauma-informed counseling, crisis intervention, and community outreach activities.
  • Work with the OneStar Foundation to create a one-stop donation webpage to support the families of the victims, teachers and the community of Uvalde.
  • Lead the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to ensure that all children in Uvalde have access to behavioral health resources and community support.
  • Providing $105.5 million to improve school safety and mental health services in Uvalde and throughout Texas.
  • Issue a disaster declaration to expedite all state and local resources available to assist the community of Uvalde.
  • Ask Texas legislative leaders to convene special legislative committees to begin reviewing and developing legislative recommendations on school safety, mental health, social media, police training, gun safety, and more.
  • Directing the Texas School Safety Center (TxSSC) to immediately begin conducting comprehensive school safety reviews to ensure that all public schools in Texas are following proper procedures to maximize school safety.
  • Lead the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to provide strategies to make Texas public schools safer through enhanced safety standards.
  • Directing ALERRT (Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training) programs to provide training to all school districts in the state, prioritizing school-based law enforcement.
  • Lead TEA, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), and the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to expand and expedite the ability to report suspicious activity through the iWatchTexas reporting system.
  • Publicize iWatchTexas through a public safety announcement featuring “Walker, Texas Ranger” Chuck Norris.
  • Lead TEA to create a new position of Chief of School Safety within the agency.
  • Urge the Texas District & County Attorneys Association (TDCAA) to increase legal action against people who lie about gun background check information.

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