In October of 2019, the Tucson Unified School Safety Department received a $525,000 U.S. Department of Justice grant. The grant was under the 2019 COPS Office School Violence Prevention Program. The COPS Office School Violence Prevention Program strives to improve security at schools and on school grounds in the jurisdiction of the grantee through evidence-based school safety programs.
The School Safety grant enrolled Tucson Unified School District into the Pima County Wireless Integrated Network. PCWIN is a county-wide institution of public safety and public service agencies. Tucson Unified went online with PCWIN in October 2020. Since then, this project has resulted in enhanced services to the TUSD community. It standardized public safety communications in Pima County and increased the public safety of our community.
Additionally, the grant allowed the department to purchase public safety-grade radios that allow for interoperable communication with all PCWIN partners. This includes law enforcement agencies that serve TUSD schools. Therefore, TUSD the ability to communicate with fire, police, and public works services in the event of an emergency. The dispatchers also received a dedicated dispatch room, in the new School Safety and Prevention offices at Menlo Park School. This room includes new ergonomic desk consoles and technology for fast notification of local law enforcement during an emergency.
The TUSD Department of School Safety’s mission is to create and maintain a secure educational climate for all students and staff members. It achieves this by protecting life and property, the resolution of conflict, and the proactive reduction of opportunities for the commission of a crime on all district property. Overall, TUSD is proud to work together with law enforcement agencies on potential or real emergencies to ensure the safety of every child in our community.