Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced a distribution of $500,000 to Arkansas’s Law Enforcement Public Safety Equipment Grant Program. Act 786 was created to strengthen the bridge between Arkansas law enforcement and the communities they serve by establishing the grant program for nonlethal public safety equipment that may include body cameras, bullet proof vests, de-escalation training, and agency accreditation programs.
“As Arkansas’s Chief Law Enforcement Officer, my administration has provided more than $17 million to support our men and women in blue who hold the line to protect all Arkansans from harm,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Defunding the police has never been the answer; defending and investing in our dedicated law enforcement is how we make Arkansas stronger. This is the State doubling down on our law enforcement and it is imperative that agencies immediately apply for these funding opportunities.”
Act 786, passed by the 93rd Arkansas General Assembly, is one of the first pieces of state legislation to establish the public safety equipment grant program. The grant program allows law enforcement agencies, detention centers, and corrections agencies to receive funding for equipment that aids in improving trust and relationships between the agencies and their communities.
Rutledge has long been an advocate for Arkansas’s law enforcement, hosting numerous trainings and providing free resources to officials throughout the state and annually honoring officers of the year from each county. The Attorney General has previously allocated funds for law enforcement programs that benefit Arkansans statewide which include the Child Abduction Response Team funds, Sheriffs’ Association honor guard uniforms, and resources to offset overcrowding in local jails, among others.