Return to Headlines

JCPS awarded $100,000 grant to improve school safety

Johnston County Public Schools has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services School Violence Prevention Program to improve school safety.

The announcement was made on Thursday, Sept. 10, by U.S. Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. of Eastern District of North Carolina.

“School safety is a top priority for our school system and these funds will further enhance our efforts, said JCPS Superintendent Dr. Eric Bracy.

According to Dr. Cherry Johnson, Director of Research and Grant Development, the district seeks grants and resources to augment all aspects of the learning environment and foster student success.

Johnson collaborated with JCPS Safety and Auxiliary Officer Chase Ferrell to apply for the grant in April 2020 after he expressed the need for additional funding to enhance security measures.

“As soon as Mr. Ferrell expressed the need for additional resources, I began searching for potential funding sources since security products can be costly,” said Johnson. “I'm so elated that JCPS has been awarded the grant. It will help us enhance campus security and improve our crisis response capabilities.”

According to Ferrell, the funds from this grant will allow the district to become more efficient in its lockdown safety protocols at school sites in the district.

“This grant helps support our goal of providing an environment for students and staff that is safe, secure, and conducive to teaching and learning,” said Ferrell. “We want to ensure school safety stays at the forefront of our minds and that we are always actively working towards finding avenues to allow us to improve in this area."

The Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) School Violence Prevention Program (SVPP) awarded nearly $50 million in school safety funding this year.

“Protecting the safety and security of our children is critical as they learn and develop. School safety is of paramount importance as we work to ensure children are secure,” said Higdon.

“With the new school year underway, the safety of our nation’s students remains paramount,” said COPS Office Director Phil Keith. “Although this school year may look different at the start, now is the ideal time to make preparations to enhance school safety for when all of our children are back in the classroom.”

The Students, Teachers, and Officers Preventing School Violence Act of 2018 (STOP School Violence Act of 2018) gave the COPS Office authority to provide awards directly to states, units of local government, Indian tribes, and public agencies (such as school districts and law enforcement agencies) to improve security at schools and on school grounds in the jurisdiction of the grantee through evidence-based school safety programs. The 160 awards announced today can be used for coordination with law enforcement; training for local law enforcement officers to prevent student violence; metal detectors, locks, lighting, and other deterrent measures; technology for expedited notification of local law enforcement during an emergency; and other measures that provide a significant improvement in security. The full list of SVPP awards can be found here: