Public Safety

Use federal funding to build safer, more resilient communities with GIS

GIS supports community safety

Today's world of uncertainty and instability makes keeping communities safe incredibly difficult. GIS allows you to quickly identify vulnerabilities, target mitigation efforts to areas of greatest need, and support critical decisions with data. Public safety grant programs are available to help build and sustain the GIS capacity resilient communities need.

Areas that GIS can support

Enhance disaster resilience and prepare to respond

Emergency managers rely on GIS every day to conduct threat and hazard risk assessments, plan mitigation projects and adaptation strategies, and build more resilient infrastructure. GIS helps manage disaster response with dashboards that provide real-time situational awareness, engagement tools for secure collaboration with partners and the public, and mobile solutions for damage assessments and debris removal that expedite recovery. 

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Improve response times and reduce community risk

Fire and emergency medical services (EMS) agencies handle a multitude of incidents that claim lives, destroy property, damage the environment, prompt evacuations, and impact localities. The increasing call load and the resultant response and recovery operations from more complex events strain municipal budgets. GIS helps agencies perform data collection, analysis, operations support, and resource coordination during risk reduction, prevention, and fire suppression operations to support a more resilient community. 

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Mitigate, respond, and recover from wildfire

Agencies strive to implement mitigation projects that can reduce the impact and overall wildfire risk on communities, but limited resources and sparse funding make this a challenge. GIS helps agencies identify and prioritize areas of high risk, effective locations for treatments, defensible space, and at-risk populations to justify and allocate resources more equitably. During recovery, GIS helps document the impacts and assess postfire risks such as flooding, landslides, and debris flows to clearly define the need for funding.

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A helicopter carrying a load of fire retardant flying over a forest through clouds of smoke, and a small colorful fire activity map

Invest in technology to jumpstart new policing initiatives

Many jurisdictions are seeing rising incidents of crime and disorder, yet police agencies are challenged by the lack of funding, personnel, and resources needed to implement evidence-based policing strategies. GIS helps agencies modernize and improve field operations, understand crime patterns and implement new crime control strategies, become more transparent and accountable, respond to public health emergencies such as the opioid epidemic and homelessness, and increase overall efficiencies.

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Deliver accurate and efficient emergency services

With the growing demand for improved location data accuracy, GIS has never been more critical for 911. Addressing authorities use GIS to collect, validate, and manage mission-critical address data in three dimensions. With GIS, Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) are better equipped to understand where to route responders in the community and even within a building in real time, ensuring that resources are deployed where they are needed most.

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Strengthen preparedness and protection against all threats

Communities face ever-evolving threats from foreign and domestic actors that place people and critical infrastructure at risk. GIS provides agencies with the tools needed to conduct risk assessments, monitor real-time threat information, coordinate field operations, and securely share information between partners and jurisdictions. With GIS, homeland security professionals can better map, visualize, and analyze suspicious activity and then take steps to protect the community.

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Products for your public safety initiatives


Available funding programs

These public safety grant programs support agencies as they work to prevent, mitigate, protect against, respond to, and recover from threats and hazards of all types and sizes.

FEMA Grant Programs

FEMA provides grants to build resilience and increase preparedness for eligible US state, local, tribal, and territorial agencies; certain private nonprofits; individuals; and institutions of higher learning.

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DHS Science and Technology Directorate Grants

First responders can obtain public safety funding from the Department of Homeland Security for a range of needs, including firefighter grants, emergency medical service grants, and predisaster mitigation grants.

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US Department of Justice Grants

The DOJ offers public safety funding opportunities to assist victims of crime; provide training and technical assistance; conduct research; and implement programs that improve the criminal, civil, and juvenile justice systems.

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TSA Surface Transportation Security Grants

DHS has directed funding for surface transportation security grants to fund operational deterrence; hardening of tunnels, high-density stations, and bridges; and other security efforts.

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Insight on how to use federal funding

  • Blog

    COVID-19: Firefighters turn to apps, maps, and dashboards to communicate and act

    The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) uses location technology to aggregate and map details from members, showing where and how COVID-19 is causing harm.

  • BLOG

    Dubuque tackles chronic flooding, restoring resilience to a disadvantaged area

    To fix a flood-prone neighborhood, Dubuque planners use 3D GIS watershed models as well as smart surveys to aid home inspections and social work.

  • BLOG

    CAL FIRE applies new predictive and tactical tools to fight ferocious fires

    Analysts with CAL FIRE can now run simulations; plan actions; and locate all firefighters, engines, helicopters, and other resources on a single shared map.

  • ArcNews

    Crime analysis that goes beyond dots on a map

    The City of Baltimore uses mapping and spatial analysis for its law enforcement efforts as a fundamental tool for making decisions and efficiently targeting resources.


Additional Funded Areas

Explore how Esri technology aligns with other funding objectives.


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