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Congressman Bruce Poliquin

Representing the 2nd District of Maine

Helping Lead an Effort to Protect Students: Poliquin Calls for Increased Funding to Boost School Security and Support Local Law Enforcement

March 12, 2018
Press Release
Poliquin is pushing Congress, in a bipartisan effort, to bolster resources for local schools and law enforcement

WASHINGTON – Congressman Bruce Poliquin (ME-02) is calling on lawmakers to boost funding to enhance security at local schools and provide more support for community law enforcement.

 

Poliquin and a bipartisan group of lawmakers are urging congressional appropriators to include a boost in funding for the Secure Our Schools (SOS) grant program—one of the Community Policing Services (COPS) programs—in the Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus Appropriations bill, the spending package Congress is expected to take up in the next few weeks.

 

The additional funds Poliquin is calling for through the SOS grants are distributed to state, local and tribal governments to develop school safety resources at the local level. The funds can be used to implement physical security measures, such as metal detectors, locks, and lighting; for security training of personnel and students; and for coordinating with local law enforcement—all under the direction and discretion of local officials.

 

“There is nothing more important than keeping our kids and our communities safe, especially in our schools,” said Congressman Poliquin. “There is no one solution to keeping our kids safe; there are many different pieces we must look at and act upon. Enhancing security at the local level, supporting our local law enforcement, and getting local officials additional resources to use under their direction are keys to making sure our schools are safe for our kids.

 

“In addition to getting our schools and law enforcement increased funding, we need to improve our nation’s background check system, known as the NICS, which has not worked effectively to identify those who should not be getting their hands on firearms; make sure our law enforcement agencies and departments on all levels are able to collaborate and share information; make sure that, through a system of due process, those suspected of terrorism, including those who have threatened to harm a school or students, can’t purchase a firearm; and continue to look at ways to prevent attacks on our schools and our kids.”

 

In addition to Congressman Poliquin, the letter was signed by a bipartisan group of lawmakers:

  • Rep. Rodney Davis
  • Rep. Rick Larsen
  • Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick
  • Rep. Leonard Lance
  • Rep. Ralph Abraham, MD
  • Rep. Lou Barletta
  • Rep. Don Bacon
  • Rep. Carlos Curbelo
  • Rep. Peter DeFazio
  • Rep. John Katko
  • Rep. Scott R. Tipton
  • Rep. Tom MacArthur
  • Rep. Frank A. LoBiondo
  • Rep. Mike Bost
  • Rep. John Faso
  • Rep. David B. McKinley, P.E.
  • Rep. Keith J Rothfus
  • Rep. Fred Upton
  • Rep. Ryan Costello
  • Rep. James Comer
  • Rep. Carol Shea-Porter
  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger
  • Rep. Mike Bishop
  • Rep. Ted Deutch
  • Rep. Mike Coffman
  • Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson
  • Rep. Steve Cohen
  • Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shultz
  • Rep. Kevin Cramer
  • Rep. Susan W. Brooks
  • Rep. Roger Marshall, M.D.
  • Rep. Lloyd Smucker
  • Rep. Lynn Jenkins, CPA
  • Rep. Jeff Fortenberry    
  • Rep. Todd Rokita
  • Rep. Rod Blum

 

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Full text of the lawmakers’ request for increased funding for school security:

 

The Honorable John Culberson                                             

Chairman       

Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice,

Science, and Related Agencies

House Appropriations Committee

Washington, DC 20515

 

The Honorable José Serrano

Ranking Member

Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice,

Science, and Related Agencies

House Appropriations Committee

Washington, DC 20515

 

Dear Chairman Culberson and Ranking Member Serrano,

 

Thank you for your work to appropriate resources to support our nation’s priorities. As you begin to draft the Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Bill, we respectfully urge you to include $150 million in funding for the Secure Our Schools (SOS) grant program, one of the Community Policing Services (COPS) programs.

 

As Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was one of the victims at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, stated, “We as a country failed our children. This shouldn’t happen. . . . And we need to come together as a country and work on what’s important. And that’s protecting our children in the schools.”

 

Drills and trainings to prepare schools for horrific situations like we saw in Parkland, Newtown, and Marysville are part of everyday life for students and teachers across the country. Kids should be focused on learning instead of worrying about their personal safety in their classroom. No child should ever feel unsafe while going to school and we must give them the peace of mind they deserve. It is our duty to stand up for these kids and take the necessary steps to ensure their safety.

 

In 2002-2011, SOS grants provided funding to state, local, and tribal governments to develop school safety resources. The funds may be used for physical security measures, such as metal detectors, locks, and lighting; for security training of personnel and students; and for coordinating with local law enforcement. These competitively awarded match grants will help ensure that our schools have the resources they need to keep students safe.

 

Thank you again for your work on the Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Bill. We respectfully urge you to include $150 million for the SOS grant program to protect our nation’s children.

 

cc: The Honorable Paul. D Ryan, Speaker

      The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader

      The Honorable Rodney P. Frelinghuysen, Chairman

      The Honorable Nita M. Lowey, Ranking Member