FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Gilbert Moore
September 9, 2004 (202) 616-1728
COPS OFFICE ANNOUNCES $35.2 MILLION IN GRANTS TO HIRE NEW LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS IN AMERICA’S SCHOOLS
285 Officers to Walk a New Beat
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) today announced grants totaling $35.2 million to add 285 additional School Resource Officers (SRO) to the nation’s schools. These grants are being awarded to 73 law enforcement agencies in 30 states.
Today’s grants were awarded through the COPS In Schools program, which funds the hiring of community policing officers assigned to a school or school district. The grants provide a maximum of $125,000 toward the salary and benefits of each new officer over three years. COPS also provides school safety training for the officer and an administrator from the school to which the officer will be assigned.
School Resource Officers combine the functions of law enforcement and education. While the specific duties of an SRO are determined locally based on community needs, some SROs support the education process by contributing to classes on state and local law, health classes about substance abuse, and driver education instruction. SROs in some communities also monitor and mentor troubled students, serve as coaches, and remain on-duty during school sponsored extra-curricular activities.
"Ensuring that students have the safest possible environment in which to learn and develop is a serious undertaking, and many communities have come to realize that SROs are an important component of school safety," said COPS Director Carl R. Peed. "We’re very pleased to support communities with the resources needed to better protect students."
Including today’s grants, the COPS In Schools program has provided more than $747.5 million to fund and train over 6,567 SROs. For additional information, please visit www.cops.usdoj.gov.