DCSO gets federal grant for school program
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office has been awarded the $60,070 COPS School-Based Partnership grant.
The grant is awarded by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services int he Departmetn of Justice.
The DCSO, Douglas High School and Whittell High School will be working together under this grant to address persistent school-related problems.
The partners, along with the Community Action Team, has focused on problems of bullying, threats and intimidation. The grant will be used to determine problem-solving methods to address the causes of the problem and develop specific responses to those problems.
The idea came from Sgt. Stan Lamb and the rest of the CAT who wanted to create a peer court to instill a sense of responsibility and discipline on campus.
The peer court will pay student volunteers and teacher advisors to review cases of misconduct by other students.
“Other communities have found it very successful,” Sheriff Ron Pierini said. “It lets the students know what behavior is tolerated and what is not. It also takes some of the pressure off the judicial system.”
The grant originally asked for $73,000, Pierini said. He said the loss of about $12,900 won’t be a problem for getting the program up and running.
“I’m excited; it’s so great,” Pierini said. “I think we were the only one in Nevada to apply for this grant.”
The money will go to pay the participants, and the cost of computers and video equipment.
Superintendent of the Douglas County School District, Pendery Clark, said she is very optimistic this program will help the schools.
“The whole concept is a really positive one,” she said. “The focus will be on getting issues resolved at an earlier time before they escalate and get violent.”
She said she has every confidence the students will be able to handle the responsibility maturely.
“I have to tell you I am so impressed with the quality of students and know those who are interested will be willing to be trained and maybe we will be able to send them to area schools that already have this program,” she said. “I think they will handle the situation well. A certain maturity will be needed and obviously they will have to take it seriously and their individual responsibility in handling it fairly.”
Clark said she feels the community is lucky to have such a cooperative working relationship between the school district and the sheriff’s office.
“I am so appreciative of the cooperation we have from the sheriff’s office and the fact we can work together on student safety,” she said. “I think it is really rare and it is a real credit to the community.”
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