Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) today congratulated the City of Fife on securing a $20,000 grant from the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Secure Our Schools program at the Department of Justice.  The grant is intended to support efforts to improve security at schools and on school grounds, providing up to 50 percent of the total cost for municipalities to install metal detectors, locks, lighting, and other equipment to help deter crime. The grants can also be used to pay half of the cost of security assessments, security training, and any other measure that will provide a significant improvement in security.

“We cannot abandon our commitment to safe and good public education – it must be our goal to have the best public education system in the country.  Creating the safest schools possible is a priority shared by the law enforcement community, educators, and the public,” said Smith. “Fife’s grant will enable local law enforcement and the school district to implement much needed safety enhancements.  I look forward to continuing to support these and other local efforts to ensure that our children are safe in their schools.”

Secure Our Schools is one of several COPS initiatives to enhance school safety. COPS has provided over $670 million to law enforcement agencies to hire more than 5,900 school resource officers. The COPS program also administers school safety training, and recently published a guide to help communities address “Bullying in Schools.”

In addition, COPS supports innovative community policing initiatives, funds the purchase of crime fighting technology, provides training and technical assistance resources, and funds the hiring of local law enforcement officers. Since 1995, COPS has invested $9.6 billion to advance community policing, including grants awarded to 12,900 state and local law enforcement agencies.

For additional information about COPS Secure Our Schools program visit their website at www.cops.usdoj.gov.