The U.S. Department of Justice on Monday announced nearly $9 million in funding for community policing and for training to help improve law enforcement officers’ response to active shooting situations.
The funding, announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions at the annual conference of International Association of Chiefs of Police in Philadelphia, comes less than a month after a gunman shot and killed 58 people at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas.
The Oct. 1 shooting, the deadliest in modern American history, raised questions about law enforcement agencies’ preparedness to neutralize active shooters in open-air spaces.
DHS conducts training
The Department of Homeland Security conducts active shooter training workshops for first responders around the country.
The Justice Department said its Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program will award $5.4 million to the University of Texas Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training center, a premiere outfit for active shooter response training.
"This funding is intended to increase law enforcement and public safety through scenario-based training that prepares officers and other first responders to safely and effectively handle active-shooter and other violent threats," the Justice Department said in a statement.
In addition, the COPS Office will provide $3.6 million in funding to local police departments, research centers and other outfits in 10 states for training, technical assistance and other community policing activities.
"Community policing builds trust and mutual respect between communities and law enforcement, and that helps us reduce crime," Sessions said.
Investment in community policing
The Justice Department has invested more than $14 billion in community policing over the last 13 years, Sessions said.
"This investment will be put to good use: providing better training and safety for law enforcement officers and better relations with communities," he added.
On Saturday, Sessions announced that the Justice Department would provide more than $100 million in grants to state and local law enforcement agencies to hire more police officers.