Georgia putting more money into school safety

In March, school and school security leaders from around Georgia met with Gov. Brian Kemp at the Governor's Mansion in Buckhead to share their safety concerns. Kemp spoke again about the issue Thursday at the conclusion of a school safety conference in Columbus led by the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency. (AJC file photo)

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In March, school and school security leaders from around Georgia met with Gov. Brian Kemp at the Governor's Mansion in Buckhead to share their safety concerns. Kemp spoke again about the issue Thursday at the conclusion of a school safety conference in Columbus led by the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency. (AJC file photo)

Georgia is allocating additional millions of dollars for school safety.

Gov. Brian Kemp announced the funding Thursday at the conclusion of a three-day conference on school safety in Columbus.

The event, much of it closed to the public, was led by the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency.

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Part of the conference focused on an update of 5-year-old safety guidance for schools. The rewrite was done with help from a U.S. Department of Justice grant and the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia. The new documentation, according to GEMA, offers a new guide and template for school administrators as they write local safety plans.

Among the new grants:

  • $2.6 million to enhance training for school police.
  • $182,000 to buy 210 tactical kits for school police.
  • $1 million for regional and other school safety training, including for instructors, plus new reference guides.

The state is also issuing $4.5 million in competitive grants to local and state law enforcement to train for school safety, use-of-force and de-escalation and to pay for mental health resources.

And Georgia is seeking federal grants totaling $3 million to train school police and staff and to improve the “climate” in schools.