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Supporting Communities After Mass Violence Incidents

Communities that have been affected by mass violence incidents may be able to apply for assistance through several DOJ grants.

Office for Victims of Crime

The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) supports communities responding to terrorist attacks and mass violence through its Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Program (AEAP).  The AEAP is designed to supplement the available resources and services of entities responding to acts of terrorism or mass violence in order to ensure that a program’s resources are sufficient and/or not diverted to these victims to the detriment of other crime victims.  OVC can allocate up to $50 million from the Crime Victims Fund for the Antiterrorism Emergency Reserve, which supports AEAP.

AEAP offers four grant funding streams to provide timely relief for immediate and ongoing victim assistance services to qualified applicants: crisis response, crime victim compensation, consequence management and criminal justice support.  Qualified applicants include state victims assistance and compensation programs; public agencies, including federal, state, and local governments; federally recognized Indian tribal governments, as determined by the Secretary of the Interior and published in the Federal Register; U.S. Attorneys’ Offices; public institutions of higher education; and nongovernmental and victim service organizations.

AEAP grants are available by OVC invitation only.  Shortly after an event, OVC will contact officials in the state or jurisdiction where the incident occurred to discuss the scope of the victims’ needs and explain what resources may be available.  OVC encourages potential applicants to coordinate victim-related activities with organizations such as state emergency preparedness agencies; state mental health agencies; local chapters of the American Red Cross and United Way; and federal, state, local, and/or tribal law enforcement and prosecutors’ offices.

OVC's web site provides information that may be useful to state and local officials responding to school shootings or other acts of mass violence.  Two resources that may be especially helpful are:

Bureau of Justice Assistance

Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program (JAG)

Of the total appropriated annually for the JAG, the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) reserves up to 5%, which can be granted to one or more states or units of local government to combat, address, or otherwise respond to precipitous or extraordinary increases in crime or in a type of crime.  States must formally request this emergency funding to OJP.

The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) also provides a wide range of information, training, and technical assistance that may be useful to state and local officials responding to school shootings or mass violence through the VALOR Initiative and the State and Local Antiterrorism Training Program.

Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Program (PSOB)

PSOB provides death and education benefits to the survivors of fallen law enforcement officers, firefighters, and other first responders, and disability benefits to officers catastrophically injured in the line of duty, including as a result of participating in response efforts to large-scale incidents. The PSOB website includes an online application.

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has developed Enhancing Police Responses to Children Exposed to Violence: A Toolkit for Law Enforcement.  This toolkit may be helpful to law enforcement officials addressing school shootings. 



Updated November 7, 2022