The DOJ awards include $3 million for school violence prevention in seven districts. 

On Wednesday, U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) announced the award of $4.5 million to Mississippi through the Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program.

Seven school districts in Mississippi will share $3.0 million in School Violence Prevention Program (SVPP) grant funding, while another district will share part of $1.0 million awarded through the COPS Hiring program.  

School districts can utilize SVPP grants for things such as coordination with local law enforcement; security enhancements, emergency preparedness and technology upgrades, and/or other actions to improve security in schools and school grounds.

SVPP funds totaling $3,014,865 for Mississippi include:

  • Chickasaw County School District – $498,744
  • Lauderdale County School District – $498,744
  • Union County School District – $495,753
  • Hollandale School District – $468,750
  • Yazoo County School District – $366,618
  • Leland School District – $346,500
  • Newton City Schools – $339,756

The COPS Hiring Program is a competitive grant program that provides funds directly to law enforcement agencies to hire new or rehire additional career law enforcement officers and deputies to enhance community policing and crime prevention.

The COPS Hiring Program grants worth $1,017,469 are awarded to:

  • City of Natchez – $768,319
  • Holmes County Consolidated School District – $125,000
  • City of Picayune – $124,150

Another $468,367 in Community Policing Development (CPD) Program funds will also be directed to Mississippi. CPD grants, used to support creative approaches to preventing crime and promoting safe communities, have been awarded to:

  • City of Jackson – $174,000
  • University of Mississippi Medical Center – $160,000
  • Forrest County – $74,999
  • Pearl River Valley Water Supply District, Ridgeland – $58,000

Senator Wicker said these federal grants will help districts across Mississippi improve security and coordination with law enforcement.

“I look forward to seeing these funds enacted and a safer future for our state’s students,” Wicker said.

Senator Hyde-Smith said rising crime rates across the country affect everyone whether in urban, suburban, or rural areas. As a result, local law enforcement, including those assigned to protect schools, face unrelenting pressures.

“These COPS grants are intended to help ease those burdens and promote safer communities,” Hyde-Smith continued.