KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The U.S. Department of Justice announced $33 million of funding to advance community policing initiatives in law enforcement agencies across the country, including $200,000 going to the City of Knoxville.

Acting United States Attorney Francis M. Hamilton III announced Knoxville will receive $200,000 from the Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing (COPS) that will support practices and strategies for creative approaches to preventing crime and de-escalation training.

According to a release from the Justice Department, the fund awarded to Knoxville will help enhance the Knoxville Police Department‘s capacity to implement, evaluate and monitor de-escalation techniques.

KPD Spokesperson Scott Erland said the department intends to use the grant to purchase a virtual training simulator.

“That simulator would expand and enhance our training capabilities for de-escalation techniques and tactics, use of force scenarios, responding to calls with individuals in crisis or with mental illnesses, and more. This will be an important piece of technology to implement additional scenario-based training.”

KPD Spokesperson Scott Erland on $200k federal grant

Erland said the grant is 100% funded and will not require any matching funds from the city government.

The COPS Office has invested more than $14 billion since 1994 to advance community policing, including grants awarded to more than 13,000 state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to fund the hiring and redeployment of more than 134,000 officers.