WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-Merced) said the cities of Atwater, Merced, Livingston, Modesto and Stockton have been awarded a combined total of $1,032,723 in federal funding through the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Secure Our Schools (SOS) grant program.
The grants are aimed at helping the communities improve school safety.
The city of Merced received $320,471 to provide additional surveillance systems at local high school and middle school campuses, in addition to creating character-building programs. Merced City School District and Merced Union High School District will provide matching funds for their respective projects.
The city of Atwater received $210,785 to install additional security cameras in local schools to improve surveillance and the safety of students. Buhach Colony High School will install five additional cameras and Atwater High School will install 10 additional cameras. The Atwater Police Department will also receive funding to install nine cameras in the local elementary schools where none have existed previously.
Atwater Assistant Police Chief Frank Petro said in a news release: “This funding is extremely important to our schools and will enhance the safety of the students. This is the second SOS grant we have received from COPS office and we are very grateful for the support they have provided.”Livingston received $130,920 and Stockton received $54,136 to improve student safety programs.
COPS Secure Our Schools grants provide funding to state and local governments working in partnership with public schools to improve school safety. Guided by a comprehensive safety assessment that identifies the individual needs of the schools, law enforcement agencies collaborate with school administrators, teachers, students and parents to implement solutions to school safety challenges, according to the news release.--Sun-Star staff