Putting cops in schools is not a new idea. In fact, the federal government has already spent hundreds of millions on grants for a program called Cops in Schools. According to DOJ records, in 2000 the program gave out a multi-year grant to hire a school resource officer in Newtown, Connecticut.
Cops in Schools was a grant program administered by the U.S. Department of Justice. A fact-sheet available on the DOJ website outlines the scope of the program circa 2005, the last year grants were made:
The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) has awarded more than $753 million to more than 3,000 law enforcement agencies to fund over 6,500 school resource officers (SROs) through the COPS in Schools (CIS) Program. In addition, COPS has dedicated approximately $23 million to training COPS-funded SROs and the school administrator in the partnering school(s) or school district(s) to work more collaboratively through the CIS program. This partnership encourages the use of community policing strategies to prevent school violence and implement educational programs to improve student and school safety.
The program provided grants of $125,000 over three years to offset the cost of hiring a school resource officer who would spend at least 75 percent of his or her time on campus. Newtown Connecticut received a grant to hire one officer in 2000, though the DOJ report doesn’t specify where the officer was stationed. The grant was not renewed, meaning the funding would have ended in 2003.
After 19 rounds of funding grants the Cops in Schools the program was cut in 2005. However, police agencies were still allowed to apply for money for school resource officers under the broader COPS grant program. Two other programs designed to increase school security and prepare schools to handle violence were cut by the Obama administration in 2011 and 2012.