Ensuring Safe Schools Since 2000
The Secure Our Schools (SOS) Program, in existence since 2000 as a response to the 1999 Columbine tragedy, awards grants that enable schools to purchase equipment, enhance school safety programs, and hire and train security personnel. The COPS office works closely with communities where law enforcement agencies have partnered with school districts to help decide where the funding would be most beneficial. Ranging from the purchase of metal detectors, locks, and lighting to safety training programs for students, the program receives about $15 million in funding annually. To date, the program has helped schools in 908 jurisdictions in all 50 states.
A community receiving a grant from the federal government is required to match that amount from its own funds. The SOS program provides 50 percent of a community’s overall goal, but if the community needs more help it can apply for up to 100 percent funding from the COPS Office. Details about Fiscal Year 2008 funding and eligibility will become available later this spring. For information, visit www.cops.usdoj.gov or call the COPS Office Response Center at 800.421.6770.