Southern District U.S. Attorney Bobby L. Christine joined the Department of Justice in announcing more than $70 million in grant funding to bolster school security, educate and train students and faculty, and support law enforcement officers and first responders who arrive on the scene of a school violence incident, including $468,537 for a partnership of Coffee County agencies including the Coffee County Sheriff’s Office, Douglas Police Department, Wiregrass Technical College Police Department, the Coffee County School System, and two private schools.
According to Dr. Morris Leis, school superintendent, the grant will focus on upgrading the system’s communication network between the system and first responders. The system will put cameras in place in certain areas of its schools. Money will also be spent on alert systems for the front offices digital radios for school buses, and other equipment. “Our focus will be on improving communication with law enforcement agencies. We need better communication among the school system, its employees, and local law enforcement,” he says.
These grants are in addition to the funding to the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO), announced by Attorney General Sessions last week, to expand and update their curriculum to better support training programs. These grants combined will better protect students, teachers, faculty, and first responders across the United States. Additionally, the Department is awarding more than $64 million to state agencies to improve the completeness, quality, and accessibility of the nation’s criminal record systems, which will help law enforcement and increase the effectiveness of background checks.