Attorney General Laxalt Seeks School Safety Grant for Technology Enhancements to Nevada’s Background Check System
Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt announced that his office applied for federal funding through the School Violence Prevention Program, a $25 million nationwide grant program administered by the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. The Office of the Nevada Attorney General’s grant application incorporates Attorney General Laxalt’s School Safety Report’s recommendation for technological enhancements to Nevada’s background check system. When the recommendation is fully implemented, technological enhancements to the system would improve the quality and flow of information used by Nevada’s school resource officers, its Fusion Centers and others to assess threats to Nevada’s schools. The availability of the competitive federal grant was announced in June by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in Reno at the National Association of School Resource Officers’ annual National School Safety Conference.
“Just as we have done with Nevada’s sexual assault kit backlog, elder abuse crisis and opioid epidemic, I was proud to mobilize law enforcement, educators and security experts to develop concrete recommendations that would make Nevada’s schools safer,” said Laxalt. “Our grant application demonstrates my commitment to making technological enhancements to Nevada’s background check system a reality. An enhanced background check system that makes criminal and domestic violence arrests and convictions, as well as mental health adjudications available to law enforcement and school resource officers in real-time could make our schools safer. Obtaining this grant is a step towards putting in place the most significant enhancement of Nevada’s comprehensive background check system since its inception–ensuring we are doing everything we can to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals. I am proud to have the support of Nevada’s Departments of Education and Public Safety.”
As a demonstration of AG Laxalt’s commitment to making Nevada’s schools a safe and secure learning environment for students statewide, his office has applied for grant funding in the amount of $375,000. If awarded, the grant will enable the Office of the Nevada Attorney General to engage a technical consultant for the purpose of proposing technological solutions to current systems that impede or complicate the process of exchanging data in real time. Utilizing its expertise in the field of information technology and criminal justice information systems, the consultant would provide product information, technical specifications, and cost estimates for the acquisition and implementation of a system or systems that will automate and expedite the transfer and exchange of criminal history information.
Last month, AG Laxalt released his office’s school safety report following the March 14, 2018 Special Law Enforcement Summit on School Safety where law enforcement officials, school resource officers, educators, school administrators, and physical security experts discussed and assessed the vulnerabilities of Nevada’s schoolchildren. Today’s grant application is consistent with a recommendation featured in the report to improve and enhance Nevada’s current technological system for running background checks and obtaining detailed criminal history information on suspects and assailants. It is essential that records housed by the Central Repository be as current and comprehensive as possible because they serve a critical public safety function and ultimately make Nevada’s schools safer when properly accessed and used for purposes of threat assessment and to keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous individuals.