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Niagara County Sheriff's Office Gets Grant to Prevent School Violence

The Niagara County Sheriff's Office is getting a federal grant that will be used to improve safety and security in several school districts.
Credit: WGRZ
School safety graphic

LOCKPORT, N.Y. — The Niagara County Sheriff's Office is getting a $215,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to help them prevent school violence.

The Community Oriented Policing Services (C.O.P.S.) grant is geared toward technology upgrades to increase school security. 

"The program being awarded in Niagara County is a great achievement for local law enforcement and our citizens," Sheriff James R. Voutour said in a statement. "There were only two awards from this grant in New York State, and Niagara County received the highest amount."

Niagara County is using its grant to pay for a full-time, civilian staff member to act as a school violence prevention coordinator. It will be his or her job to work with schools to update and implement school safety plans. 

The coordinator will also update site surveys at school buildings and implement new safety technology. He or she will also help with safety training and serve as a liaison between the schools and the sheriff's office and other local police departments.

"This position and technology will assist in our mission to protect the citizens of Niagara County, especially those in an educational environment," said Sheriff Voutour.

The sheriff's office said the money will help build the existing partnership with schools. Orleans/Niagara BOCES, Barker, Newfane, Royalton-Hartland, and Starpoint schools will benefit.

Technology will be provided to Niagara Charter School to help with safety and security.

The grant covers a two-year period and requires a local match of $72,000.

"This is a great opportunity to improve the safety of our schools and show our shared commitment to working together with Niagara County in the best interest of our children," said Dr. Clark Godshall, Orleans/Niagara BOCES District Superintendent.