DOJ Provides $85.3M in Grants To Limit School Violence

Jerry Ashworth
October 30, 2019 at 07:45:49 ET
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Looking around our office, one can’t miss the numerous proud pictures on desks, bulletin boards and computer displays of our school-age children. While we can’t be with them during the day when they are in school, we expect – first and foremost – that our children will be able to learn in a safe environment free of violence. Hearing that the Department of Justice (DOJ) recently issued more than $85.3 million in grants to improve school safety is a good step forward to achieve this sense of security.

The awards, issued to 215 state and local educational agencies through several programs under the 2018 Student, Teachers and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Act, aim to make schools safer by providing funds to educate and train students and faculty and support first responders who arrive on the scene of a school shooting or other violet incident.

DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) manage the programs and administer the grants, which include funds to: (1) develop school threat assessment teams and pursue technological solutions to improve reporting of suspicious activity in and around schools; (2) implement or improve school safety measures, including coordination with law enforcement, as well as the use of metal detectors, locks, lighting and other deterrent measures; (3) train law enforcement to help deter student violence against others and themselves; (4) improve notification to first responders through implementation of technology that expedites emergency notifications; (5) develop and operate anonymous reporting systems to encourage safe reporting of potential school threats; (6) train school officials to intervene when mentally ill individuals threaten school safety; and (7) provide training and technical assistance to schools and other awardees in helping implement these programs.

Among the programs include:

  • BJA awarded $29.5 million under its STOP School Violence Technology and Threat Assessment Solutions for Safer Schools Program to 68 local governments, federally recognized Indian tribes and public agencies to directly help schools by providing school administrators, staff, students and first responders with the ability to use threat assessments, crisis intervention teams and anonymous reporting technology.
  • BJA awarded $17.3 million under its STOP School Violence Prevention and Mental Health Training Program to 43 state and local governments, federally recognized Indian tribes, and public agencies to provide multi-disciplinary training programs to school personnel and students (including volunteers, counselors, coaches and school resource officers) with the intent to prevent and respond to mental health crises that may precipitate violent attacks on school grounds.
  • BJA awarded about $6 million under its STOP School Violence Training and Technical Assistance Program to Regents of the University of Michigan to provide training and technical assistance to existing and future STOP School Violence grantees. The recipient will provide information to BJA, COPS and the criminal justice community on the subject of school violence and school safety, while also serving as a resource and training center for information and research about national and statewide school safety initiatives.
  • COPS issued $32.5 million under the School Violence Prevention Program to 103 schools and school districts to improve school safety through violence prevention.

We support this funding and hope these efforts go a long way in making our schools safer.

Join us for our following Federal Grants Forums:
Federal Grants Forum: Charleston, SC | February 5 – 7, 2020
Federal Grants Forum: Portland, OR | May 13 – 15, 2020
Federal Grants Forum: Chicago, IL | August 12 – 14, 2020
Federal Grants Forum: Denver, CO | October 7 – 9, 2020

Learn more at http://grants.thompson.com/conferences.aspx.