Criminal Justice Planning

The Criminal Justice Program grew out of the COG’s responsibility to conduct Criminal Justice Planning for the six-county region. Each year, the Criminal Justice Planner facilitates the development of Community Plans for all counties within the Heart of Texas Council of Governments’ region. The plans outline the needs and issues affecting law enforcement, juveniles, and victims in each county. Gaps in services, services currently provided, and services and resources the counties would like to establish in order to fill the gaps are identified in the plan. Participation in this critical aspect of the program is vital for those entities applying for funding through the Office of the Governor Criminal Justice Division (CJD). Our Criminal Justice team then develops a Regional Strategic Plan from the data, trends, and gaps identified in the six-county Community Plans.

Click Here for Crime Statistics

CJ Grant Toolkit

Criminal Justice Plans

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Our Criminal Justice program works with Community Planners from each of our counties to develop Community Plans which are used to inform our regional strategic plans. You will find the most recent versions of these plans below./media/userfiles/subsite_185/files/Bosque%20County%20Community%20Plan%202023(3).pdf

2023 Regional Strategic Plan
Hill County Community PlanBosque County Community Plan
Freestone County Community PlanLimestone County Community Plan
McLennan County Community PlanFalls County Community Plan


If you have any questions about any of these plans, please contact Lana Gudgel at 254-292-1800.

Grant Workshop Schedule

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Eligible Organizations interested in applying for Homeland Security or Criminal Justice Grant funds must attend a Grant Workshop. These workshops cover the basics of the following topics, eligibility, project writing, eligible activities, grant writing/application, ethics training, and more. We will be offering 12 sessions this grant cycle, applicants can choose a morning or afternoon workshop.  There is no requirement to pre-register for the grant workshops. 

DateMorning AfternoonLocation  Address
Tuesday, Jan 7, 2025 9:00 AM to Noon   1:00 PM - 4:00 PMHOTCOG1514 S New Road, Waco, TX
Thursday, Jan 9, 2025 9:00 AM to Noon   1:00 PM - 4:00 PMHOTCOG1514 S New Road, Waco, TX
Tuesday, Jan 14, 2025 9:00 AM to Noon   1:00 PM - 4:00 PM HOTCOG 1514 S New Road, Waco, TX
Thursday Jan 16, 2025 9:00 AM to Noon   1:00 PM - 4:00 PMHOTCOG 1514 S New Road, Waco, TX
Tuesday, Jan 21, 2025 9:00 AM to Noon1:00 PM  - 4:00 PMHOTCOG1514 S New Road, Waco, TX
Wednesday, Jan 29, 20259:00 AM to Noon1:00 PM - 4:00 PM HOTCOG1514 S New Road, Waco, TX


Jurisdictions are only required to attend one workshop per cycle. Attendance Must be in-person.

If you have any questions regarding the grant workshops, please contact Lana Gudgel at 254-292-1891.

Grant Funding Opportunities

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The following grant opportunities are available to eligible jurisdictions. Click the link below to see the funding opportunities.

Texas eGrant Funding Opportunities

Criminal Justice Grant Program FY2025 (JAG)

General Victim Assistance Grant program FY2025 (VOCA)

Juvenile Justice & Truancy Prevention Grant Program FY 2025 (TP)

Violence Against Women Justice and Training Program FY2025 (VAWA) 

Applicants must contact their applicable regional council of governments (COG) regarding their application.

    b. Each of Texas’ 24 COGs holds its own application planning workshops, workgroups, and/or subcommittees and facilitates application prioritization for certain programs within its region. Failure to comply with regional requirements imposed by the COG may render an application ineligible.

All grant applications must be submitted and certified in the eGrants system by 5:00 pm on Thursday, February 8th, 2024

Criminal Justice Advisory Committee

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Chaired by Brian Swick, the Criminal Justice Advisory Committee's (CJAC) primary responsibility is to score and prioritize grant applications for the grant programs administered through the Criminal Justice Division, Office of the Governor. The following Criminal Justice Grants are scored by the CJAC and supported by the Criminal Justice Planner:

  • Victims of Crime Act Fund (VOCA)
  • Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDP)
  • Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
  • Justice Assistance Grant (JAG)

The following documents guide the CJAC in its mission to oversee grant funding uses for crimes committed and to promote accountability, efficiency, and effectiveness within the criminal justice system.


Criminal Justice Advisory Committee Members

Brain Swick - Chair - Limestone/Freestone County

Milton Albright - Falls County Commissioner 

Cathy Beckwith - Public Member 

Katie Cole - Hill County Crime Victim Coordinator 

David Echols - Public Member 

Scott Ferguson - Bosque County Constable Pct. 1

Yesica Rodriguez - Waco Police Department 

Bill Madding  - Freestone County 

Tony Acosta - Public Member

Mark Norcross - Waco Police Department 

Tuck Saunders - Hewitt Police Department 

Glenn Shoemaker - Limestone County 

Dick VanDyke - Public Member 

Jay Sparkman - Bosque County Constable Pct. 2

Ryan Howard - DPS

Niat Wuebker - Falls County Commissioner 




Previous Grant Awards

The following grants were awarded by the Office of the Governor (OOG) to agencies serving the Heart of Texas region in the FY 24 grant cycle.

NameProject TitleGrant SourceAmount
Heart of Texas Council of Governments Juvenile Justice Alternatives SF$27,871.88
Advocacy Center Victim Services VC$396,526.00
Heart of Texas Behavioral Health Network Victim Services  VA$68,211.13
Family Abuse Center Victim Services VC$468,536.63
Hill County Truancy Prevention and Intervention TP$60,459.24
Waco Police Department Family Violence Unit Detective WF$56,134.00
Heart of a Champion One Heart Project DJ$50,000.00
Falls CountyYouth Intervention Services TP$34,980.00
Falls County Youth Victim Services VC$29,260.00
Falls CountyVictim Services VC$47,140.41
Falls County Special Crimes InvestigatorWF$31,510.80
City of WestOperational Improvement  DJ$28,500.00
City of BellmeadCrime Victim Liaison VA$57,969.08
Heart of Texas Council of Government  Heart of Texas Sexual Assault Response Team Multi-Disciplinary TeamWF$14,442.59
Grant Source Code Guide
DJEdward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program (JAG)
SFState Criminal Justice Planning (421) Fund
TPTruancy Prevention Grant Program
VAVictims of Crime Act Formula Grant Program (VOCA)
WFViolence Against Women Formula Grants (VAWA)


Additional Resources

The following resources are designed to assist jurisdictions and agencies in applying for Criminal Justice funds. Provided resources include assets to inform jurisdictions and agencies of the process utilized to apply for, prioritize, and allocate grant funding.