For Immediate Release Contact: Gilbert Moore
October 7, 2004 202 616-1728
ATTORNEY GENERAL JOHN ASHCROFT ANNOUNCES AWARDS OF $9.8 MILLION TO INCREASE SCHOOL SAFETY
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Attorney General John Ashcroft today announced $9.8 million in grants to 220 municipalities to enhance school safety in 42 states. The grants were awarded under the Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Secure Our Schools program, which provides funds to improve security in schools and on school grounds.
The Secure Our Schools program will provide up to 50 percent of the total cost for municipalities to install metal detectors, locks, lighting, and other equipment to help deter crime and violence. The grants can also be used to pay half of the cost of security assessments, security training, and other measures that provide significant security improvements.
"Our schools should be places where students can learn without fear of violence," said Attorney General Ashcroft. "Parents should not have to worry about their child’s safety in the classroom. With these grants, we are providing school districts and those who safeguard our children with additional resources to help ensure that learning environments are safe and secure."
"One of the critical challenges confronting America’s local governments is establishing and maintaining safe schools in which students can learn and develop," said COPS Director Carl R. Peed. "Today’s grants will help municipal law enforcement agencies and school districts implement much needed safety enhancements that contribute to a safe and secure learning environment. We are pleased to help communities prevent and reduce school-based crime and violence."
COPS supports innovative community policing initiatives, funds the purchase of crime fighting technology, provides training and technical assistance resources, and funds the hiring of local law enforcement officers. COPS also provides school safety training and has published several technical assistance guides to help law enforcement agencies effectively address specific school and youth violence issues.
For additional information about COPS Secure Our Schools program and to view a list of municipalities that received grants, please visit www.cops.usdoj.gov.