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 For Immediate Release
April 10, 2003

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ANNOUNCES $20.5 MILLION IN GRANTS TO HIRE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS TO PROTECT AMERICA'S SCHOOLS

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) today announced grants totaling $20.5 million to allow 120 law enforcement agencies in 36 states to hire 180 additional officers and deputies to protect our nation's schools.

Today's grants are being awarded under the COPS In Schools program, which provides a maximum of $125,000, over a three-year period, to cover the salary and benefits of new school resource officers assigned to protect schools. COPS also provides school safety training for the officer and an administrator from the school where the officer will be assigned.

To support the Administration's priority of advancing homeland security, COPS has enhanced the training associated with these grants by incorporating instruction on terrorism prevention, emergency response, and the critical role of schools in community preparedness and disaster recovery.

"As local law enforcement agencies are confronted with today's new challenges and threats, the Department of Justice is committed to helping meet their needs," said Attorney General John Ashcroft. "Local law enforcement is an essential and valued partner in the war on terrorism, and these grants will ensure that local agencies are able to hire new officers who have received much-needed terrorism prevention and emergency response training."

"The funds announced today will enable law enforcement agencies to provide a heightened level of safety in the schools in which officers are assigned, and will go a long way toward ensuring that schools are fully incorporated into local emergency response plans," said COPS Director Carl R. Peed. "COPS is pleased to be able to provide some of the first law enforcement funding since the federal budget was passed just seven weeks ago. "

Including today's grants, the COPS In Schools program has provided more than $715 million to nearly 2,600 state and local law enforcement agencies to hire and train over 6,000 school resource officers.

For detailed information on which agencies in your region received grants today, click here.


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