Governor Youngkin has added a huge boost to Virginia’s law enforcement by announcing a massive $37.5 million in grant funding, including nearly $7 million for school resource officers and school security officers.
According to the Governor’s announcement, the grants that total $37.5M to support local criminal justice programs in Virginia were awarded today by the Criminal Justice Services Board. This includes $6.8 million for local school resource officers (SRO) and school security officers (SSO). Additional grant awards include funds to support local victim witness programs, gun violence prevention programs, juvenile delinquency prevention programming and hospital-based violence prevention programming among others. These grants will fund a wide range of local criminal justice programs and services in Virginia communities. The SRO/SSO funding will support 86 SRO positions and 15 SSO positions for FY23 in school divisions throughout the Commonwealth.
Governor Youngkin has proposed an additional $22.5M in both FY 23 and 24 to fund additional SRO and SSO positions in Virginia’s schools. Included in the Governor’s proposed increase is language which waives the matching cash requirements for grant recipients in the first year of the four year grant, further alleviating the burden on the localities to find matching funds for these grants which require a local match.
“The grants awarded today will provide funding for localities that fund positions and programs that help to make our schools and communities safe as well as ensuring our youth and crime victims receive the support and services they need,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “These awards also reflect my commitment to make school safety 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 essential these grant funds are to support criminal justice programming in Virginia’s communities. School resource officers and school security officers are critical to a safe school environment that supports learning and supports our teachers and staff,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Robert Mosier.
The criminal justice programs that were awarded funding by the Criminal Justice Services Board include; School Resource Officer Program, School Security Officer Program, Victim Witness Program, Residential Substance Abuse Treatment Program, Peer Supported Critical Incident Stress management Program, Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Program, Gun Violence Grant Program, Project Safe Neighborhoods program, Child Advocacy Centers program, Hospital-Based Violence Intervention program, and Hate Crimes program.
With law enforcement across the country in desperate need of budget overhauls in the face increased criminal activity, Governor Youngkin’s continued support of Virginia officers is sure to add a huge boost in allowing those who serve and protect everyday Virginians and their children to do their jobs.