Cantwell Announces Grant for Spokane County to Support School Safety

Nearly $140,000 going to Spokane County Sheriff’s Department to help meet the safety and security needs of the county’s schools

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) announced that the Spokane County Sheriff’s Department is receiving $138,000 in funds to bolster security within the county’s schools and promote a safe learning environment for its students. The funding is made possible through the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Secure Our Schools program.

Cantwell is a longtime advocate of the COPS program, which has been helping local law enforcement stop crime in Washington state communities since the program was created in 1994. On June 22, 2011, Cantwell joined Senators Herb Kohl (D-WI) and Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) in leading a letter to the Senate committee with jurisdiction over COPS urging Committee leadership to adequately fund this program for the 2012 fiscal year.  

“These funds will help protect the students who walk through the doors of the Spokane County school system,” Cantwell said. “This investment allows the Spokane County Sheriff’s Department to provide the kind of safe and secure school environment that parents have come to expect in Spokane County. The COPS program has played an important role in helping local law enforcement crack down on crime. I will continue to fight to ensure that the program gets the resources it needs.”

COPS Secure Our Schools (SOS) grants provide funding to state, local, or tribal governments working in partnership with public schools to improve school safety. The Spokane County Sheriff Department will collaborate with school administrators, teachers, students, and parents to implement solutions to school safety challenges. By supporting these community policing partnerships, this grant program will help protect children and prevent school violence within Spokane County.

Cantwell has long fought for federal programs that provide support to local law enforcement to fight crime. On June 21, 2011, she led a bipartisan letter signed by 39 Senators encouraging Appropriators to continue to provide robust funding in fiscal year 2012 for the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) program, which helps states and communities across the country reduce crime, prevent juvenile delinquency, and reduce recidivism.