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.

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.

2023 Regional Strategic Plan
Hill County Community Plan Bosque County Community Plan
Freestone County Community Plan Limestone County Community Plan
McLennan County Community Plan Falls 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 four sessions this grant cycle with additional opportunities given on an as-needed basis.  

Date Time Location Address
Thursday, Jan 5, 2023   9:00 AM  HOTCOG  1514 S New Road, Waco, TX 
Thursday, Jan 5, 2023  1:00 PM HOTCOG

1514 S New Road, Waco, TX

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2023    9:00 AM HOTCOG 1514 S New Road, Waco, TX
Thursday, Jan 19, 2023   1:00 PM  HOTCOG 1514 S New Road, Waco, TX


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


If you have any issues or 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 links below to download the Funding Announcement.

FY 2024 Criminal Justice Grant Program (JAG)

FY 2024 Juvenile Justice & Truancy Prevention Grant Program (SF421)

FY 2024 General Victim Assistance Grant Program (VOCA)

FY 2024 Violence Against Women Justice and Training Program (VAWA)

All grant applications must be submitted and certified in the eGrants system by 5:00 pm on Friday, February 9th, 2023

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 22 grant cycle.

Name Project Title Grant Source Amount
Heart of Texas Council of Governments  Juvenile Justice Alternatives  SF421 $29,601.78
Advocacy Center  Victim Services  VC $395,721.00
Bellmead Police Department  Domestic Violence Detective  WF $27,769.50
Family Abuse Center  Victim Services  VC $365,676.00
Hill County  Truancy Prevention and Intervention  TP $57,052.34
Waco Police Department  Family Violence Unit Detective  WF $56,134.24
McLennan County  Commercial Sexual Exploitation Prevention  SF $255,861.66
Falls County Youth Intervention Services  TP $34,980.00
Falls County  Youth Victim Services  VC $29,2060.00
Falls County Victim Services  VC $95,722.30
Falls County  Special Crimes Investigator WF $31,510.80
Wortham Police Department Law Enforcement Vehicle  DJ $37,050.00
Clifton, City of  Public Safety Project  DJ $66,765.00
Grant Source Code Guide
DJ Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program (JAG)
SF State Criminal Justice Planning (421) Fund
TP Truancy Prevention Grant Program
VA Victims of Crime Act Formula Grant Program (VOCA)
WF Violence 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.