The U.S. Department of Justice announced on Monday $85.3 million to bolster school security, with $1.7 million earmarked for the Eastern District of Kentucky. The grants will go to the Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative, which serves 15 school districts with 155,000 students in north central Kentucky; as well as the Campbell County Board of Education, Rowan County Schools, Corbin Independent Schools, and Letcher County Sheriff’s Department.
School security improvements include funding to educate and train students and faculty, and support first responders who arrive on the scene of a school shooting or other violent incident. The hope is that these resources will help ensure a safe and secure learning environment for students and ultimately make schools and communities safer.
The Bureau of Justice Assistance, within the Department’s Office of Justice Programs, and the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services manage the programs and administer the grants, which include funds to:
–Develop school threat assessment teams and pursue technological solutions to improve reporting of suspicious activity in and around schools.
–Implement or improve school safety measures, including coordination with law enforcement, as well as the use of metal detectors, locks, lighting and other deterrent measures.
–Train law enforcement to help deter student violence against others and themselves.
–Improve notification to first responders through implementation of technology that expedites emergency notifications.
–Develop and operate anonymous reporting systems to encourage safe reporting of potential school threats.
–Train school officials to intervene when mentally ill individuals threaten school safety.
–Provide training and technical assistance to schools and other awardees in helping implement these programs