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Miss. Senators award $4.5M in law enforcement improvement grants

U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., have announced that approximately $4.5 million in funds have been awarded to Mississippi in an effort to improve law enforcement across the state.

The funds, which were through the Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program, will be sent to select school districts, cities, and counties.

“These federal grants will help districts across Mississippi improve security and coordination with law enforcement,” Wicker said.  “I look forward to seeing these funds enacted and a safer future for our state’s students.”

Seven Mississippi school districts will share $3 million in School Violence Prevention Program (SVPP) grant funding, while an additional district will share part of the $1 million awarded through the COPS Hiring program. Another $468,367 in Community Policing Development (CPD) Program funds will also be directed to Mississippi.

“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 said.

The SVPP grant funds may be used for coordination with law enforcement, security enhancements, emergency preparedness and technology upgrades, and other actions to improve security in schools.

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

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.

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

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

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