WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Mike Bost (IL-12) today announced over $1.1 million in federal grant funding for Jackson, St. Clair, and Pulaski counties to strengthen security in local schools. The Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, O’Fallon Community Consolidated School District 90, and the Meridian CUSD 101 in Pulaski County were three of over 100 jurisdictions nationwide awarded grants through the Department of Justice’s School Violence Prevention Program. The funding was made available through bipartisan legislation Bost introduced last year that was included in the Securing Our Schools Act.
“No parent or grandparent ever wants to feel that children in their family are unsafe at school,” said Bost. “Schools should be a place where our kids can learn, grow, and pursue their dreams, not a place where their innocence or ambition is put at risk. Introducing the legislation that created this grant program is one of my proudest accomplishments in Congress. I am pleased to see that three more Southern Illinois communities will benefit from this year’s round of grant funding. At a time when partisanship is rife, this is an example of both parties putting politics aside and doing the right things for our kids.”
The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office was awarded $478,688 to upgrade and install security systems at Jackson County schools. The O’Fallon Community Consolidated School District 90 was awarded $358,835 to improve communication with updated radios, repeaters and intercom systems and increase the number of security cameras and security bollards. And the Meridian CUSD 101 will use their $281,500 to improve security equipment, training, and secure a district resource officer.
The School Violence Prevention Program provides funding directly to states, units of local government, and Indian tribes to be used to improve security at schools and on school grounds in the grantees’ jurisdictions through evidence-based school safety programs that may include one or more of the following:
- Coordination with local law enforcement
- Training for local law enforcement officers to prevent school violence against others and self
- Placement and use of metal detectors, locks, lighting, and other deterrent measures
- Acquisition and installation of technology for expedited notification of local law enforcement during an emergency
- Any other measure that, in the determination of the director of the COPS Office, may provide a significant improvement in security