Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services Awarded $631K to Improve School Crisis Management

DCJS will work alongside the state Department of Education and Virginia State Police to create a crisis management program for schools.

Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services Awarded $631K to Improve School Crisis Management

(Photo: Vitalii Vodolazskyi, Adobe Stock)

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin announced the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) was awarded $631,262 to establish a crisis management program for schools.

DCJS received federal funding through the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) School Violence Prevention Program, reports Augusta Free Press. The program aims to increase communication and coordination and improve information sharing between law enforcement and school officials in order to increase school safety and sustainability planning efforts.

“DCJS is committed to providing valuable resources to our school and law enforcement partners,” said DCJS Director Jackson Miller. “Our focus is to continuously improve and enhance safety in our schools across the Commonwealth by encouraging collaboration and supporting Virginia law enforcement and schools.”

DCJS will lead the project in collaboration with other state agencies, including the Virginia Department of Education and Virginia State Police.

“Preparation is the key to ensuring the safety and security of Virginia’s schools,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Robert Mosier. “The importance of investing in resources and developing partnerships and communication between law enforcement officers and school personnel cannot be understated.”

Initiatives for the project will include:

  • Development and implementation of a uniformed, statewide crisis management plan training curriculum
  • Development of a Virginia-specific mobile crisis planning application
  • Automation of the Virginia School Safety Inspection Checklist
  • Development of age-appropriate and role-specific training videos on evidence-based response techniques to crisis events

To support the project, the DCJS Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety is releasing new and updated resources, including the Division Guide for Crisis Management Planning. Developed in collaboration with state and national experts, the six-step guide outlines how to form and implement crisis management plans.

Other resources include the newly developed Virginia Safety Planning Guide for Individuals with Special Needs and the updated Virginia Educator’s Guide for Planning and Conducting School Emergency Drills.

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