WASHINGTON, DC – The Justice Department’s Office for Victims of Crime, a division of the Office of Justice Programs, today announced it has awarded $9,801,224 in an Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Program grant to assist victims of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
On February 14, 2018, 14 students and three staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were fatally shot and killed, while 17 others were wounded in one of the deadliest school massacres in United States history.
“More than two years after 17 innocent lives were violently cut short, the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas remains as senseless as it is painful,” said OJP Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine T. Sullivan. “We open our hearts and pledge our continued support to the families of the victims, to the brave first responders who came to the scene that terrible day and to the entire community of Parkland.”
This grant will serve the victims of the tragedy by providing funding to the Florida Department of Legal Affairs’ Division of Victim Services and Criminal Justice Programs to reimburse key agencies that delivered immediate services following the shooting.
Funds will also help provide ongoing trauma-informed, evidence-based healing and resiliency services to the students, families, employees, and first responders who survived the shooting.
OVC Director Jessica E. Hart stated, “The loss of so many young lives in a place dedicated to the pursuit of learning is unspeakable. I had the honor of meeting with parents of the victims of this senseless act in my prior role as Public Liaison for the Department. I witnessed their resiliency and passion for ensuring others never have to live through the same tragedy. My heart remains with them and all the victims whose lives will forever be affected by this reprehensible crime. I hope this funding will help carry on the vital work of serving victims and restoring communities in memory of all those who were taken from us that day.”
In the aftermath of this horrific shooting, President Donald J. Trump established the Federal Commission on School Safety, proclaiming “Every child deserves to grow up in a safe community surrounded by a loving family and to have a future filled with opportunity and with hope.” The Commission’s final report provided a comprehensive set of recommendations for improving school safety.
Since 1995, Office for Victims of Crime Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Program grants have provided supplemental support to victims and jurisdictions that have experienced incidents of terrorism or mass violence.
The funding comes from the Crime Victims Fund, which is financed by fines and penalties paid by convicted federal offenders. For more information on this grant program, visit https://www.ovc.gov/AEAP/.