Photo by Monivette Cordeiro
The U.S. Department of Justice on Monday awarded Florida $1 million to help defray the cost of law enforcement officers and other emergency workers who have been involved in the response to the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement sought the funds, at Gov. Rick Scott’s direction, through the federal agency’s Bureau of Justice Assistance and a grant program designed to reimburse states and communities that face precipitous costs related to major crime incidents.
The grant will cover some of the costs, such as overtime pay, incurred by state and local agencies in responding to the high school shooting, securing the scene and investigating the incident.
Some 18 agencies were involved in the response to the mass shooting that left 14 students and three faculty members dead and 17 wounded.
“The school shooting in Parkland shocked and horrified the nation, but the community and law enforcement at all levels have shown resilience and determination,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. “As I told our state and local partners back in February, the Department of Justice stands ready to help them in any way we can. Today we offer $1 million to support the police who have been working overtime in the aftermath of this tragedy. They can be sure about this: we have their backs.”
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio welcomed the Department of Justice’s decision in a statement.
“Countless first responders worked tirelessly to process the crime scene and tend to victims in the aftermath of the Parkland tragedy, putting a great strain on state and local resources,” Rubio said. “We are truly grateful for their selfless efforts.”
Rubio and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson jointly supported the FDLE’s request, which was initially made in February.