Bilirakis helps Pasco secure $500,000 safe schools grant

U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis has helped Pasco County Schools secure a $500,000 federal grant to help keep students and teachers safe.

The funding is part of the STOP School Violence Act, which Bilirakis supported and which became law last year.

Bilirakis advocated for Pasco to receive this grant after speaking with Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco, Pasco Schools Superintendent Kurt Browning, members of the Pasco County School Board, teachers and parents, according to a news release from the congressman’s office.

The funds will be used to enable Pasco Schools, law enforcement partners, and mental health providers to facilitate multidisciplinary threat assessments while developing behavioral threat assessment teams to intervene and mitigate potential risks, the release says.

Funding will build on current community engagement by supporting a dedicated school threat assessment coordinator and certified juvenile criminal intelligence analyst.

Pasco School Schools is the 10th largest, among the state’s 67 school districts.

In the release, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said “we want to thank Congressman Bilirakis for his leadership in protecting our children in Pasco County.

“Funding for threat assessments is one of the best methods for prevention and to help a child in distress before they become a threat to others or themselves.

“We look forward to further partnering with Pasco County Schools and Superintendent Browning on this important initiative,” Nocco added.

Pasco County is one of just eight school districts in the country to receive this competitive grant.

Bilirakis also is the author of the PROTECT KIDS Act, which would provide additional federal funding for School Resource Officers in the nation’s largest school districts, such as Pasco, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.

Published October 23, 2019

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