Police Gear Storage

How to Get Funding for Police Renovation Projects

Significant, long-term improvements to public safety facilities are often essential for officers and staff to be able to continue doing their jobs safely and effectively. These projects are typically called capital projects or capital improvements, and they might involve building a new facility or renovating or expanding an existing facility. Evidence lockers, police lockers, and weapons racks are generally considered capital improvements.

Getting funding for capital projects at police departments and other law enforcement agencies can be a challenge because these projects usually exceed a typical department’s annual operating budget. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to fund Bonds, grants, and cooperative purchasing agreements are a few of the ways your organization can get funding or steep discounts on significant projects.

Or continue reading below.

download police locker guide

Jump ahead to learn about your funding options or download the complete police locker and gear storage guide.

Bonds / Referenda

Municipal bonds are often used to fund large capital projects, and municipal bond releases are a way to get funding from private investors for public projects. These projects usually require voter approval, which means you’ll need to convince voters that your project will have a broad positive effect on the community.

Here are 5 steps for getting voter approval for your bond issue:

1. Build a solid relationship with your community.
  • Attend city council and civic group meetings.
  • Hold an open house.
  • Attend city council and civic group meetings.
  • Hold an open house.
2. Organize & plan.
  • Assemble a committee of 5-7 influential community leaders during the planning phase.
  • Create a detailed campaign plan that includes finances and activities that ramp up to voting day.
  • Plan to launch the campaign at least two months before voting day.
  • Be sure that all campaign work is done while off duty. Federal law prohibits public employees from campaigning in uniform or using taxpayer resources to work on campaigns.
3. Prove the need.
  • Show voters that your department needs capital improvements and that you will use taxpayer funds responsibly.
  • Offer tours of your current facility.
  • Demonstrate immediate needs and the investment in the community’s future.
  • Use drawings and layouts to show how funds will be used (contact us to schedule a free consultation).
4. Campaign

Keep the message simple:

  • Voting date
  • Amount the bond or tax is for
  • How funds will be used

Tactics might include:

  • Interviews with local newspapers, TV, and radio
  • Posting on social media
  • Speaking at City Council meetings and other events
  • Remember, no campaigning while on duty or in uniform!
5. Win or lose, keep in touch with the community.

If your proposal is approved:

  • Invite the local newspaper to report on your capital project’s progress.
  • Hold an open house soon after installation is complete.
  • Build on strong relationships with the community.

If your proposal is voted down:

  • MOTUS can help you determine priorities and implement smaller projects in incremental phases.
  • We can also retrofit locker rooms and other spaces to better suit your needs.
  • Keep working in your community to lay the foundation for a successful campaign the next time around– and call on us to help.


State and federal entities make grants for capital projects for police departments and other organizations. Grants usually involve an extensive application process that includes preparing a budget, demonstrating a need, and showing how capital improvements will benefit your community. You do not necessarily have to write your own grant application; you can hire a grant writer.

Leftover Budget Funds

Most public safety departments are funded by their governing agency or board, such as a city council, and those entities usually have a “use it or lose it” rule. You might be able to get core projects funded with funds that are leftover at the end of the fiscal year. If you’d like to pursue this option, be sure to have a proposal on hand (preferably with drawings) immediately when these funds become available. The funds are usually allocated quickly.

Municipal Leases

Leasing may be a good choice if your agency has a shorter term, more urgent need – for example, evidence lockers for gaining accreditation. Rather than going through a referendum / bond initiative, you might be able to use a Tax-Exempt Municipal Lease to procure products.

Tax Exempt Municipal Leases allow local governments can borrow money through a third party company. In certain cases, a municipal lease can allow the transfer of capital improvements expenses from a capital budget to an operating budget. Equipment such as evidence lockers and police lockers can usually be purchased through municipal leases.

Discount Pricing Via Purchasing Agreements

Police lockers, evidence lockers, and other law enforcement-related purchases can be made using a cooperative purchasing contract, which allows you to avoid the open bidding process and ensure you’re getting the best possible price. That’s because the contracting agencies solicit bids and evaluate products on your behalf.

We offer lockers and a variety of other products via contracts, partnerships, and purchasing agreements that give you a variety of procurement choices. These contracts include GSA, Sourcewell (formerly NJPA), National IPA, and various state contracts.

Shared Facilities

As budgets become increasingly tight, some agencies have found that sharing evidence storage warehouses, dispatch, and other facilities allows them to share costs and eliminate duplicate services. MOTUS can help make the most of your investment by designing storage systems that keep evidence, records, personal gear, and other materials organized and accessible.


Outdated police lockers aren’t always capable of storing modern equipment like body armor. If your officers need more storage space but new lockers aren’t in your budget, retrofitting is an option:

police locker bench drawer
We can add bench drawers below existing lockers. The drawers feature a flat tray for drying and storing body armor horizontally, with room for boots and other gear below the tray.

police lockers intergrated benches
If space is tight in your police locker room, reconsider locker room seating. Retractable breadboard locker benches can be added to lockers to eliminate the need for freestanding benches.

police garage gear locker
If full-height lockers aren’t necessary for everyone, consider replacing tall lockers with multiple tiers of smaller locker openings. This increases the number of lockers in the same footprint.

Looking for more information on law enforcement locker room design, including funding tips and best practices?

download police locker guide

What's Next

police storage checklist
Police Storage Checklist
Use this Police Storage Checklist to make sure you have enough space to keep valuable equipment accessible and secure for your officers.
police locker room design
How to Design the Best Police Lockers for Law Enforcement
Here are the top 10 considerations for designing police lockers and the most popular locker sizes.
public safety tactical gear storage
Tactical Gear Storage for Law Enforcement
How to choose the best tactical gear storage solutions for police departments and other law enforcement.