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 For Immediate ReleaseóNovember 15, 2002

COPS OFFICE ANNOUNCES $5 MILLION IN SCHOOL SAFETY GRANTS

Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) today announced $5 million in grants to 69 local law enforcement agencies to enhance school safety in 27 states. The grants were awarded through COPS Secure Our Schools program, intended to support efforts to improve security at 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. The grants can also be used to pay half of the cost of security assessments, security training, and any other measure that will provide a significant improvement in security.

"Creating the safest schools possible is a priority shared by the law enforcement community, educators, and the public," said COPS Director Carl R. Peed. "Today's grants will enable local law enforcement agencies and school districts to implement much needed safety enhancements. We are proud to assist with local school safety initiatives."

Secure Our Schools is one of several COPS initiatives to enhance school safety. COPS has provided over $670 million to law enforcement agencies to hire more than 5,900 school resource officers. COPS provides school safety training, and recently published a guide to help communities address Bullying in Schools.

In addition, 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. Since 1995, COPS has invested $9.6 billion to advance community policing, including grants awarded to 12,900 state and local law enforcement agencies.

For additional information about COPS Secure Our Schools program and to obtain a list of law enforcement agencies that received grants, visit COPS website at www.cops.usdoj.gov.


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