PORTLAND, Maine: United States Attorney Halsey B. Frank announced today that two Maine school districts will receive a total of $703,982 from the Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) School Violence Prevention Program (SVPP). Nationally, the COPS Office SVPP awarded nearly $50 million in school safety funding. SVPP provides up to 75 percent funding for school safety measures in and around primary and secondary schools and school grounds.
Maine School Administrative District (MSAD) 30 in Lee will receive $230,985, and Regional School Unit (RSU) 14, the Windham Raymond School District, will receive $472,997.
“The complications of COVID-19 have presented numerous challenges to our school districts this year, but we cannot afford to overlook the importance of school safety,” Frank said. “For that reason, I am very pleased to learn that these two Maine school districts will receive significant funding to enhance their existing safety protocols.”
The Students, Teachers, and Officers Preventing School Violence Act of 2018 (STOP School Violence Act of 2018) gave the COPS Office authority to provide awards directly to states, units of local government, Indian tribes, and public agencies (such as school districts and law enforcement agencies) to improve security at schools and on school grounds in the jurisdiction of the grantee through evidence-based school safety programs. The two awards announced today can be used for coordination with law enforcement; training for local law enforcement officers to prevent student violence; metal detectors, locks, lighting, and other deterrent measures; technology for expedited notification of local law enforcement during an emergency; and other measures that provide a significant improvement in security. The full list of SVPP awards can be found here: https://cops.usdoj.gov/pdf/2020AwardDocs/svpp/Award_List.pdf.
In addition to the school safety grants announced today, the COPS Office School Safety Working Group, which is composed of representatives from eight national law enforcement organizations, has identified 10 essential actions that can be taken by schools, school districts, and law enforcement agencies to help prevent critical incidents involving the loss of life or injuries in our nation’s schools and to respond rapidly and effectively when incidents do occur. The Ten Essential Actions to Improve School Safety are applicable to school shootings as well as to other areas of school safety, including natural disasters and traumatic events such as student suicide. Adopting policies and practices based on the recommendations in this publication can help make school communities safer and save lives.
The COPS Office is the federal component of the Department of Justice responsible for advancing community policing nationwide. Since 1994, the COPS Office has invested more than $14 billion to advance community policing, including grants awarded to more than 13,000 state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to fund the hiring and redeployment of more than 134,000 officers and provide a variety of knowledge resource products including publications, training and technical assistance.
The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.