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The Department of Justice has announced it has awarded more than $85.3 million to bolster school security- including 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.

“These federal resources will help to prevent school violence and give our students the support they need to learn, grow and thrive,’ said Attorney General William P. Barr. “By training faculty, students and first responders, and by improving school security measures, we can make schools and their communities safer.”

The grants award $1,626,347 in funding to three schools in the District of Montana to prevent violence. Schools receiving the grants are the University of Montana, $1 million; Polson School District #23, $476,347; and Browning Public School District 9, $150,000.

“We are pleased that the University of Montana, along with the Polson and Browning public school districts, will be receiving these funds to improve safety. Keeping our schools prepared to respond to potential threats is important to providing a safe environment where students, faculty and staff can do what they should do in school, focus on learning,” U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said.

President Trump signed the STOP School Violence Act into law in March 2018, authorizing grants that are designed to improve threat assessments, train students and faculty to provide tips and leads, and prepare law enforcement officers and emergency professionals to respond to school shootings and other violent incidents. The grant programs are managed by the Office of Justice Programs’ Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Justice Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.

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; and

* Provide training and technical assistance to schools and other awardees in helping implement these programs.

For more details about these individual award programs, as well as listings of individual 2019 awardees, visit https://go.usa.gov/xVJuV.

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