The Department of Justice has announced nearly $50 million in grants for safety measures in and around primary and secondary schools and school grounds in the country.
The 160 awards announced Thursday can be used for coordination with law enforcement; training for local law enforcement officers to prevent student violence; metal detectors, locks, lighting, and other deterrent measures; technology for expedited notification of local law enforcement during an emergency; and other measures that provide a significant improvement in security.
The DoJ’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) is disbursing up to 75 percent funding for school safety measures through its School Violence Prevention Program (SVPP).
In addition to the school safety grants, the COPS Office School Safety Working Group has identified 10 essential actions that can be taken by schools, school districts, and law enforcement agencies to help prevent critical incidents such as school shootings and student suicide.
The Students, Teachers, and Officers Preventing School Violence Act of 2018 (STOP School Violence Act of 2018) gave the COPS Office authority to provide awards directly to states, units of local government, Indian tribes, and public agencies (such as school districts and law enforcement agencies) to improve security at schools and on school grounds in the jurisdiction of the grantee through evidence-based school safety programs.
“With the new school year underway, the safety of our nation’s students remains paramount,” said COPS Office Director Phil Keith. “Although this school year may look different at the start, now is the ideal time to make preparations to enhance school safety for when all of our children are back in the classroom,” he added.
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