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 For Immediate Release
October 1, 2003

COPS OFFICE ANNOUNCES $4.9 MILLION TO INCREASE SCHOOL SAFETY IN 27 STATES

Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) today announced $4.9 million in grants to 106 local law enforcement agencies to enhance school safety in 27 states. The grants were awarded through COPS' Secure Our Schools program, which provides funds to improve security at schools and on school grounds.

The Secure Our Schools program will provide up to 50 percent of the total cost for municipalities to install metal detectors, locks, lighting, and other equipment to help deter crime. The grants can also be used to pay half of the cost of security assessments, security training, and other measures that will provide a significant improvement in security.

"One of the greatest challenges that exist for America today is creating safe schools for our youth to learn and develop," said COPS Director Carl R. Peed. "Today's grants will enable local law enforcement agencies and school districts to implement much needed safety enhancements. We are proud to help communities reduce school-based crime and violence."

Secure Our Schools is one of several COPS initiatives to enhance school safety. COPS has provided nearly $700 million to state and local law enforcement agencies to hire and train over 6,100 school resource officers. COPS also provides school safety training, and has published several technical assistance guides to help law enforcement agencies effectively address specific school and youth violence issues.

In addition, COPS supports innovative community policing initiatives, funds the purchase of crime fighting technology, provides training and technical assistance resources, and funds the hiring of local law enforcement officers. Since 1995, COPS has invested $10.6 billion to advance community policing, including grants awarded to more than 13,000 state and local law enforcement agencies to hire over 118,000 officers.

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