ATLANTA — The Department of Justice announced it has 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.
Georgia will see about $2 million from the grants.
“Children are precious gifts and deserve to be safe while they are in school,” said U.S. Attorney Byng J. “BJay” Pak. “These grants will provide the resources necessary for enhanced training as well as assistance with developing technology to expedite emergency notifications.”
The grants award more than $1,050,873 in funding to prevent violence in schools to the Meriwether County Board of Education, Fulton County Board of Education, and Calhoun City School District.
In addition, the Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council received $999,554.
President Trump signed the STOP School Violence Act into law in March of 2018 which authorizes 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 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 the 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.