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 For Immediate Release—Tuesday, March 19, 2002

COPS OFFICE ANNOUNCES $52.7 MILLION IN GRANTS TO HIRE NEW POLICE OFFICERS IN AMERICA’S SCHOOLS

464 Officers to Walk a New Beat

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The United States Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) today announced grants totaling $52.7 million to add 464 additional law enforcement officers to walk beats in the nation's schools. These grants are being awarded to 228 law enforcement agencies in 38 states and Puerto Rico.

Today's grants were awarded through the COPS In Schools program, which funds the hiring of community policing officers assigned to schools. The grants provide a maximum of $125,000 for the salary and benefits of each new officer over three years. COPS also provides school safety training for the officer and an administrator from the school where the officer will be assigned.

Many communities are discovering that trained, sworn law enforcement officers assigned to schools make a difference. Community policing officers perform a variety of functions within the school including teaching crime prevention and substance abuse classes, monitoring troubled students, and building respect between law enforcement and students. School Resource Officers (SROs) combine the functions of law enforcement and education.

"We're very pleased that SROs are having a positive impact on schools, students, and communities nationwide," said COPS' Director Carl R. Peed. "They (SROs) are an important component in state and local community policing efforts."

Including today's grants, the COPS In Schools program has provided more than $562 million to fund and train over 4,987 SROs.