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Secure Our Schools Program Methodology

Office of Community Oriented Policing Services Secure Our
Schools Program

Program Background and Goals
Secure Our Schools (SOS) grants provide funding to state, local, or tribal governments to assist with the purchase and development of school safety resources based upon a comprehensive approach to preventing school violence that is individualized to the needs of the schools.  This allows recipients the opportunity to establish and enhance a variety of school safety equipment and/or programs to encourage the continuation and enhancement of school safety efforts meant to prevent school violence within their communities. 

Funding under this program may be requested for such things as:

For FY ’10 SOS applications, applicants must have conducted a school safety assessment for the targeted schools within the last three years or included a plan to conduct a school safety assessment for the targeted schools during the two-year grant period if awarded.   These assessments enabled applicants to request budget items that are specifically linked to the resolution of school safety problems identified.

A total of $16,000,000 was available under the FY 2010 SOS program.  SOS applicants could apply for funding up to $500,000 or 50% of the total project cost.  A 50% cash match was required.   

All local, state, and tribal law enforcement agencies that have primary law enforcement authority within a partner primary or secondary school were eligible to apply.  On May 19, 2010, the COPS Office blast emailed a pre-invitation notification to eligible law enforcement and government agencies listed in our database.  This pre-invitation notification directed agencies to the COPS website where they could find out more information about the upcoming application for the Secure Our Schools program.  Program information was also posted on the website.  The program solicitation opened on June 2, 2010 and closed July 2, 2010.  A total of 398 agencies successfully submitted an online application before the deadline.

Applicants were required to submit a complete application, to include a Project Narrative, a Budget Narrative, and a School Safety Assessment/Assurance.  In addition, applicants had to propose community policing objectives which were linked to their project proposal.  Upon receipt, each application was reviewed to ensure it was eligible and included all required documents.  Applications were removed from consideration for either of the following reasons:

Eligible and complete applications were then thoroughly reviewed by two independent reviewers between July and September, 2010.  Additional preference was provided to those applicants that were previously unfunded under SOS, submitted a detailed Memorandum of Understanding (based upon guidance included in the application guide), and/or applied by the priority consideration deadline. Following the review of applications, COPS was able to fund a total of 167 agencies from 41 states/territories in the amount of $15,997,382.