Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that the Louisiana State Police has been awarded two federal school safety grants totaling more than $800,000 through the U.S. Department of Justice. Louisiana State Police applied for the grant following the governor’s directive to work with school districts to improve safety on campuses for students. 

“Ensuring that our schools remain safe for students, teachers and their dedicated staff, is of utmost importance to me, our communities and law enforcement,” said Gov. Edwards. “I commend Col. Reeves for his leadership in seeking these grants which will further enhance the training and coordinated efforts between troopers, local law enforcement agencies and school administrators in making certain plans are in place should any attempts be made to threaten the security of our campuses.”     

LSP applied for the grants in July of 2018 and received official award notification this week about both the COPS School Violence and Prevention Program (SVPP) and the Bureau of Justice Assistance School Violence Threat Assessment and Technology Reporting Program. 

The Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) School Violence and Prevention Program (SVPP) provides for a federal award of $374,798 over a two year period with Louisiana State Police matching an additional twenty-five percent.  The goals of SVPP grant are focused on the improvement of physical security at schools and on school grounds through coordination and training for local law enforcement officers.  Through the SVPP grant, LSP and local law enforcement agencies will evaluate physical security measures including metal detectors, classroom door locks, and security lighting in addition to the installation of technology to quickly notify first responders of an actual emergency event.

The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) School Violence Threat Assessment and Technology Reporting Program provides for a federal award of $500,000 over a three year period with Louisiana State Police matching an additional twenty-five percent.  The BJA grant emphases improving school safety by conducting school threat assessments and mitigating risks factors.  Through the grant, LSP will continue to coordinate with school administrators across the state to assess possible threats, develop crisis intervention teams to identify school violence risks, and develop strategies to mitigate those threats. In addition, the BJA program includes the creation and implementation of technology that allows for the anonymous reporting of possible threats via mobile phone apps, telephone hotlines, and/or websites.

“LSP remains committed to working alongside our federal and local law enforcement partners as well as school officials to ensure a safe learning environment for Louisiana’s children,” stated Colonel Kevin Reeves, State Police Superintendent.  “We are very thankful to the U.S. Department of Justice for their consideration and subsequent grant award to the Louisiana State Police.  Through the resources provided by these grants, State Police will begin immediate coordination with our partners to implement the necessary steps to improve school safety in Louisiana.”