Money Still Available for Schools and Officers
(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — An effective way of dealing with school violence is to stop it before it happens, which is why Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has been helping law enforcement and school officials prepare to do just that with a two-pronged program.
The Attorney General’s Office offers funding for school districts that need to improve building safety, with more than $7 million in school-safety grants still available to administrators who want to prepare for and hopefully prevent targeted violence.
“Procrastination and complacency open the door to tragedy,” Yost said. “Our common goal is to prevent a tragedy, and to do that a plan is needed. But we also need to be prepared when something does happen, and we can help with that, too.”
The Attorney General’s Ohio School Threat Assessment Training program for school resource officers, launched in 2020, has trained more than 2,000 Ohio peace officers in less than two years.
The program teaches officers and school personnel how to recognize behavioral warning signs and act on them before they lead to violence. There is still $600,000 available for school resource and DARE officers who wish to complete the training.
In addition, more than 1,000 school buildings across the state have received the Ohio School Vulnerability Assessment. These assessments are designed to help administrators identify and correct weaknesses in building security.
The attorney general urges every school district in Ohio to take advantage of this program.
“Some schools have vulnerabilities that make them easy targets for someone bent on violence,” Yost said. “We need to make them hard targets.”
Max Schachter, whose son Alex was tragically killed in 2018 during the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, commended the Attorney General’s Office for its threat assessment training programs.
“I just want to thank Ohio for doing this,” Schachter said. “I think this (training) is critical, and I wish every state took safety and security so seriously.”
The trainings have also been lauded by the U.S. departments of Education, Justice, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services.
Despite unprecedented progress, more work remains.
AG Yost is encouraging all law enforcement officers to take the School Threat Assessment Training Program, which qualifies for the continued professional training (CPT) that all Ohio peace officers must take in 2022.
School resource officers and DARE officers, along with their respective departments, can receive compensation for the training.
Also, school officials who wish to take the training can do so free. Superintendents can work with their school resource officers and the Attorney General’s Office to complete vulnerability assessments.
Here is a link to the School Threat Assessment Highlight Video: https://youtu.be/HQKWD8kOAiU.