WASHINGTON: The Department of Justice today announced nearly $190 million in funding to improve the safety of schools across the country. The grants, awarded by the Department’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) and Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), will help institute safety measures in and around schools, support school violence prevention efforts, provide training to school personnel and students, implement evidence-based threat assessments, and fund research and evaluation on the causes and consequences of school violence.
“Supporting efforts to strengthen the safety of our nation’s school children has been and will continue to be a priority for the COPS Office,” said COPS Office Acting Director Robert Chapman. “The grants announced today not only provide physical security enhancements and training, but also take into account the need to do so while maintaining a positive learning environment.”
The Students, Teachers, and Officers Preventing School Violence Act of 2018 (STOP School Violence Act of 2018) gives the Justice Department 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 through evidence-based school safety programs. It also provides the authority to improve K-12 school safety by helping students and teachers recognize, respond quickly to and help prevent acts of violence and ensure a positive school climate.
“By being thoughtful and proactive in addressing school violence and by creating environments where students can flourish, we can identify problems before they become tragedies,” said Karhlton F. Moore, Director of OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance. “These awards will help school and law enforcement officials, as well as teachers, staff and students, recognize the signs of potential danger and take steps to prevent those threats from escalating into serious violence.”
The 82 BJA awards – totaling almost $87 million, including the nearly $40 million that was authorized by the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act – are intended to support training and education for school personnel and students on preventing violence against others and themselves, including anti-bullying training and specialized training for school officials to respond to mental health crises. Funds also help develop and implement multidisciplinary threat assessment or intervention teams and design technology solutions such as anonymous reporting systems including mobile telephone applications, hotlines and websites. An additional $3 million supports specialized training and technical assistance to help students and teachers recognize and prevent acts of school violence.
The COPS Office is making 235 awards, totaling almost $72 million, under its School Violence Prevention Program. Funds 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.
Almost $25 million from OJP’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is supporting evidence-based youth violence prevention and intervention programs in school settings, while OJP’s National Institute of Justice is awarding more than $1.7 million to measure the impact of threat assessments on school safety, examine the root causes of school violence and explore how police reforms in school environments affect students’ experiences.
The awards announced above are being made as part of the regular end-of-fiscal year cycle. Additional information about these and other FY 2022 grant awards made by the Office of Justice Programs can be found online at the OJP Grant Awards Page. The full list of SVPP awards can be found on the COPS Grant Awards Page.
The COPS Office is the federal component of the Department of Justice responsible for advancing community policing nationwide. The only Department of Justice agency with policing in its name, the COPS Office was established in 1994 and has been the cornerstone of the nation’s crime fighting strategy with grants, a variety of knowledge resource products, and training and technical assistance. Through the years, the COPS Office has become the go-to agency for law enforcement agencies across the country and continues to listen to the field and provide the resources that are needed to reduce crime and build trust between law enforcement and the communities served. The COPS Office has invested more than $14 billion 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 136,000 officers.
The Office of Justice Programs provides federal leadership, grants, training, technical assistance and other resources to improve the nation’s capacity to prevent and reduce crime, advance racial equity in the administration of justice, assist victims and enhance the rule of law.
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