At the beginning of March, lawmakers passed a spending package which focuses significant resources on training.  You can review detailed information on the spending package here.   Of note, it includes:

  • $20 million to implement the Law Enforcement De-escalation Training Act, which authorizes funds and calls for the DOJ to create grants for law enforcement to fund training costs.  Details on the bill are available here.
  • $10 million under the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program for improved police responses to those suffering with mental health conditions.

Department of Justice Grants

Several grants at the Department of Justice are about to be released and a couple of opportunities are already accepting applications.

Community Policing Development: De-Escalation Training Solicitation – Coming soon!

The COPS Office is projected to release $15M in grant funding to implement de-escalation training in agencies all across the country.  Last year’s information can be found here.

Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) Program – Coming soon!

DOJ will make $103M available through the local solicitation and $210M will be available through the state solicitation. Byrne JAG funds are distributed through a formula and through your state’s State Administering Agency (SAA). Link

VirTra Grant Assistance

Keep in mind that VirTra is a resource for grant assistance! By partnering with PoliceGrantsHelp, we have made it possible for you to receive a FREE 1-hour consultation with grant experts. The experts can then help you find grants that fit and help you write them. To get information on this service, visit this page and fill out the form.

Effective, advanced training comes with a monetary cost. That cost is well worth the lives saved due to the knowledge officers gain from it. For smaller law enforcement agencies or ones that experienced budget cuts, there is a way to acquire training through grant programs.


It is Easy to Get Grant Funding with VirTra Solutions

With a strong need for law enforcement to be trained on specific topics, many grants have requirements to be met for a training solution to fall under its umbrella. De-escalation training and individuals with mental illnesses are topics covered under many training grants in recent years.

VirTra has a strong focus on scenarios that provide non-lethal pathways to resolution. Over 100 scenarios in our library do not require the user to use a firearm. Branching options provide multiple options for officers to take during training, allowing them to use verbal communication skills to de-escalate an irate subject. Additionally, we submit courses through IADLEST’s NCP program for certification accepted by POST in 36 states.

Hours of mental illness and autism awareness coursework is included in our clients’ systems. The scenarios and curriculum provide a strong foundation for officers to recognize the signs that a subject they are interacting with may have a mental illness or be on the autism spectrum. Not only is the recognition important, but knowing how to properly communicate is too. Scenarios allow officers to compassionately settle incidents – whether it is a public disturbance or a person having a mental health crisis.

Another focus is on community relations with a focus on showcasing how the agency trains. Relations can be strengthened through hosting media days, community events, and demonstrations. When community members and stakeholders experience the benefits of simulation training and how it can positively impact public safety, they will feel more secure in the agency that serves them.


The Latest Grants Available

As of now, there are some brand new grant programs that VirTra’s capabilities fit under.

Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Fiscal Year 2024 Appropriations Bill

This brand new bill announced in July for FY 2024 sets aside $20M for de-escalation training and $10M for mental health and wellness. Click here to get more details about this funding opportunity.

Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program

This program for FY 2023 is specifically for city, county, tribal, and special district agencies. Virtual reality de-escalation training is supported as well. Click here to read more about this opportunity. Keep in mind that the deadline is next month – August 24!


Grant Guides

If your department needs extra help writing grants or researching, VirTra offers the Grant Assistance Program. This program provides instructors with free, one-on-one customized grant help dedicated solely to training simulations and firearm training projects. Instructors can receive help with the entire process—grant research, alert notices, application reviews, etc.—at no cost. Start receiving free grant assistance by clicking here!

There is plenty of uncertainty in law enforcement. Everything from situation outcomes to departmental budgets are subject to change based on factors out of our control. However, one thing that should never be uncertain is high-quality training. Proper training is what gives officers the tools to succeed and save lives in the field. Thanks to a new year’s worth of grants, departments can ensure their officers receive high-quality training, no matter the budget, community difficulties, or other factors.

High-quality training is oftentimes expensive because of its qualities. Curriculum created through a combination of subject matter experts and industry personnel, nationally-certified lessons, the most realistic accessories on the market. All of these are essential in the classroom, but it can be difficult for some departments to afford. To make it easier to obtain this technology, VirTra is compiling and sharing grant opportunities that can allow your department to purchase and utilize VirTra’s high-quality training.

Keep in mind that the following grants are very timely and you are encouraged to apply now. If you are reading this article a few months after publication, please see VirTra’s News for the timeliest grant articles!


Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act (LEMHWA)

The LEMHWA Program closes on April 29, so departments are encouraged to hurry! This program is giving out $7,500,000 to improve access to mental health and wellness services for law enforcement. As such, this includes: implementation of peer support, family resources, suicide prevention, technology for “fit for duty” tests and more. Submit your application here.

Edward Byren Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG)

This grant provides $20,000,000 to law enforcement officer training on racial profiling, de-escalation and duty to intervene. Each state has a specific allotment, with certain jurisdictions eligible to receive the grant. Access this information here.

Cops Office | STOP School Violence Act

The STOP School Violence Act—Student, Teachers, and Officers Preventing—is administering $53,000,000 via competitive grants. The funds are used for training school personnel (including SROs) and educating students on preventing violence, developing technology solutions, improving training and more. Get started on this grant.

Grants Guide

If your department needs extra help writing grants or researching, VirTra offers the Grant Assistance Program. This program provides instructors with free, one-on-one customized grant help dedicated solely to training simulations and firearm training projects. Instructors can receive help with the entire process—grant research, alert notices, application reviews, etc.—at no cost. Start receiving free grant assistance by clicking here!

If you need additional help or have questions, please feel free to contact a VirTra representative. Together, we can ensure your department has the funds to provide your officers with the best training available. Train hard, train smart, train VirTra.

With the uncertainty surrounding policing budgets, grants are more critical now than ever. This form of funding provides access to training equipment, programs and accessories that were otherwise difficult to obtain. However, the fact that federal grant money is ever-changing adds another layer of difficulty in securing extra training funds. With potential budget cuts and an uncertain grant resource, how can departments find a financial guarantee?

VirTra recognizes this problem and has worked hard to provide free grant resources for departments, providing extra help in securing limited funds.

Free Grants Guide Booklet

This free Grants Guide is a booklet that goes in-depth into finding modern, relevant grants for the purchase of a de-escalation, judgmental use of force training simulator. As such, it explores federal grants from the Department of Justice, in addition to state and alternative funding opportunities—thus providing the most information and resources to departments.

Going further, the Grants Guide also includes critical tips for preparing and applying to grants. By following these instructions, your department’s applications will be ready to submit for the right grants at the right time. Considering these unprecedented times, this is the year to maximize training resources.

Access the Grants Guide booklet here

VirTra’s Grant Assistance Program

If your department needs extra help with the grant writing application process, VirTra offers a separate resource: VirTra’s Grant Assistance Program. Instructors can receive free, customized grant help dedicated to all training simulation and firearms training projects.

This one-on-one help also extends into grant research, grant alert notices and grant application reviews with a team of grant experts. Whether your department is beginning the grant writing process or are looking for someone to review, these personnel will provide free help, as sponsored by VirTra.

Start receiving FREE Grant Assistance

If you need additional help or have questions, please feel free to contact a VirTra Representative. We are dedicated to providing the best form of training to our officers.

Law enforcement agencies around the country are receiving budget cuts or defunding, and therefore looking for ways to decrease spending. There is one aspect that should absolutely not be skimped on, however, and that is officer training.

Just like the saying goes, “you get what you pay for.” Chances are, if a judgmental use of force or de-escalation training solution is inexpensive and sounds too good to be true – it probably is. This sentiment is especially true for simulators, which come in all types, configurations, and of course, prices. When looking for the right training solution for your officers, going for the inexpensive option is likely putting your department at a disadvantage. Improper training can lead to lawsuits that would be much more expensive, and also reputation-damaging.

VirTra offers options for law enforcement agencies that struggle to pay outright for a simulator. We understand that not every department is equipped for a large upfront purchase, but we believe a price tag cannot be put on the value of superior immersive training.


VirTra’s Subscription Training and Equipment Partnership (S.T.E.P.) is designed to be similar to a lease – allowing for monthly, quarterly or annual subscriptions rather than making an outright purchase. Your simulator and equipment will be kept up-to-date with new content and software updates as part of the agreement.

If at any point you are dissatisfied within the initial 12 months of the program, VirTra will cancel the subscription and pick up the training simulator and equipment with no fuss. We are confident this will not be the case, as we allow for complete package customization from everything to the number of screens to the type of content received, thus fitting every department’s needs

Grant Assistance

If you are familiar with the purchasing process in your city, county or department, you have likely heard of or applied for training grants. The application process can be tiring and it’s not always easy to find the perfect one that fits your agency’s needs.

By partnering with PoliceGrantsHelp, VirTra has created a Guide to Grants Funding that helps you get started on applying for federal, state and local grants. Not only will you get assistance looking for the right grant to apply for, but also help with the process of applying.

By taking some of the measures above, you can purchase or lease an effective use-of-force simulator without hurting your budget. For questions about any of the above information, contact a product specialist here.

Training simulators are a fantastic teaching tool for both trainees and seasoned officers. Their high-resolution graphics display sophisticated, true-to-life scenarios while immersing individuals in the training simulation.

However, the state-of-the-art technology, subject matter experts and industry professionals that together make the police training simulators powerful, also in turn make the simulators more expensive. While powerful curriculum, expertise and modern technology are essential for the best results, many departments struggle to be able to afford this high-end firearms training solution.

To make this technology more accessible to all, VirTra partnered with PoliceGrantsHelp to provide police departments across the nation with a comprehensive resource for grant assistance:

Grant Assistance

By partnering with PoliceGrantsHelp, departments throughout the United States can receive FREE customized grant help in regards to police training simulators and firearms training projects. This specialized grant help includes research, alert notices and application reviews from a team of grant experts, together helping your department successfully collect grants for training simulators.

PoliceGrantsHelp spans federal, state, foundation and corporate grant opportunities for law enforcement. An extensive grant database in addition to the grant application review helps your department find, prepare for and submit the best grant applications possible. Are you ready to improve your applications?

Grants Guide

VirTra also created the FREE Grants Guide, an extensive PDF booklet designed to help departments find and apply for grants. Discover where to find grant funding to purchase a police training simulator, including federal grants from the Department of Justice, in addition to individual states and alternative funding opportunities. To make applying easier, the guide includes key tips on applying for grants and providing information on VirTra’s police training simulator.

Preparing officers for life-and-death situations they may face in the field is a critical component of any agency’s training program. VirTra offers a variety of firearm training simulation options to help officers train in a safe, controlled environment. Help your officers improve their de-escalation and judgmental use of force skills, then transfer that knowledge to the field.

Set your department up for success. To find more about grants, visit PoliceGrantsHelp, download our FREE Grants Guide and contact a VirTra simulations specialist.