Virginia is committing $6.8 million in grants to help local school systems hire school resource officers and school safety officers.
The money is part of a $37.5 million criminal justice grant package announced Friday by Governor Glenn Youngkin, which also includes funds to support local victim witness programs, violence prevention programs armed forces, juvenile delinquency prevention programs and hospital violence prevention programs.
The school grants will support 86 SRO positions and 15 SSO positions for FY23 across Commonwealth school divisions.
Youngkin proposed an additional $22.5 million in fiscal years 23 and 24 to fund additional SRO and SSO positions at Virginia schools. The governor’s proposed increase includes language that removes matching cash requirements for grant recipients in the first year of the four-year grant, further easing the burden on localities to find matching funds for these. grants that require local matching.
“The grants awarded today will provide funding to communities that fund positions and programs that help keep our schools and communities safe and ensure that our youth and victims of crime receive the support and services they need. need,” Youngkin said. “These awards also reflect my commitment to making safe schools my number one priority and I look forward to making available the additional funding I have proposed in the upcoming budget.”
“As a former sheriff, I understand how critical these grant funds are to supporting criminal justice programs in Virginia communities. School Resource Officers and School Safety Officers are essential to a safe school environment that supports learning and supports our teachers and staff,” said Secretary of Public and Homeland Safety Robert Mosier.
“The grants awarded today reflect Virginia’s commitment to supporting local programs Virginia is proud to offer one of the strongest school resource officer programs in the nation and DCJS has supported these programs since the 1990s,” said manager Jackson Miller. “These grants and the additional funding available propel Virginia as a leader in safe schools efforts and our commitment to having the safest schools in the country.”