Louisiana Record

Thursday, February 27, 2020

ATTORNEY'S OFFICE OF LOUISIANA: Department of Justice Awards More Than $85.3 Million in Grants to Address School Violence

By Press release submission | Oct 28, 2019

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U.S. Attorney's Office Western District of Louisiana issued the following announcement on Oct. 22.

On October 21, 2019, the Department of Justice announced that it awarded more than $85.3 million to bolster school security—including funding to educate and train students and faculty—and support first responders who arrive on the scene of a school shooting or other violent incident.

“These federal resources will help to prevent school violence and give our students the support they need to learn, grow, and thrive,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “By training faculty, students and first responders, and by improving school security measures, we can make schools and their communities safer.”

“There is no more important cause than protecting our children from harm,” stated Western District of Louisiana U.S. Attorney David C. Joseph. “These grants will give Winn Parish School Board and Caddo Parish School Board the tools to develop better safety measures to help prevent violence in their schools. I want to thank the Department of Justice for making these grants available to provide Louisiana schools with the resources to better identify threats, train crisis teams, and put reporting systems in place. School should always be a safe place for children to learn.”

Winn Parish School Board received $150,000 under Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) STOP School Violence Technology and Threat Assessment Solutions for Safer Schools Program. Under BJA’s STOP School Violence Prevention and Mental Health Training Program, Caddo Parish School Board received $250,000. The Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement received an additional $500,000.

President Trump signed the STOP School Violence Act into law in March 2018, authorizing grants that are designed to improve threat assessments, train students and faculty to provide tips and leads, and prepare law enforcement officers and emergency professionals to respond to school shootings and other violent incidents. The grant programs are managed by OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Justice Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.

The Bureau of Justice Assistance, within the Department’s Office of Justice Programs, and the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services manage the programs and administer the grants, which include funds to:

Develop school threat assessment teams and pursue technological solutions to improve reporting of suspicious activity in and around schools;

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;

Train law enforcement to help deter student violence against others and themselves;

Improve notification to first responders through implementation of technology that expedites emergency notifications;

Develop and operate anonymous reporting systems to encourage safe reporting of potential school threats;

Train school officials to intervene when mentally ill individuals threaten school safety; and

Provide training and technical assistance to schools and other awardees in helping implement these programs.

Original source can be found here.

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U.S. Attorney's Office Western District of Louisiana