NEWARK, N.J. – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, and U.S. Representatives Albio Sires (N.J.-08) and Mikie Sherrill (N.J.-11) today announced that Elizabeth and West Orange Public Schools have won federal grants totaling $800,000 from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) School Violence Prevention Program (SVPP) to boost safety and security measures across their campuses.

“These grants are great news for both Elizabeth and West Orange School Districts in implementing and improving their safety plans,” said Sen. Menendez. “Every parent deserves to know that when their kids are off at school, they’re learning and growing in an environment that’s safe and free from violence.”

“The last thing our children should be worried about while at school is their safety,” Sen. Booker said. “This federal investment will provide New Jersey schools with the resources they need to improve safety and security while also giving our students and their families greater peace of mind.”

“Elizabeth Public Schools’ receipt of this School Violence Prevention Program grant will provide important resources enabling the school district to ensure the safety, security, and well-being of students,” said Rep. Sires. “Part of a quality education is one that is free from the threat of violence. These funds will hopefully allow students to feel more at ease when they are away from home.”

“I’m thrilled to announce that the Department of Justice has awarded these COPS Office grants today,” Rep. Sherrill said. “I have four children in our local school system and I am committed to ensuring our children have a secure environment while they are in the classroom. School Violence Prevention Program grants enable our school districts – like West Orange – to focus investment on teaching the next generation, while ensuring the safety of our children and educators.”

Specifically, Elizabeth Public Schools will receive $494,750 and West Orange Public Schools will receive $299,490.

The COPS School Violence Prevention Program is a competitive award program designed to provide funding for school security and safety measures, including coordination with law enforcement, training for law enforcement to prevent student violence against others and self, target hardening measures, and technology for expedited notification of law enforcement during an emergency.