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The Obama administration plans to spend millions of dollars to place armed police officers in schools throughout the country in a move advocated by the National Rifle Association in the wake of last December’s shooting massacre in Newtown, Conn.

The Department of Justice announced Friday it’s giving nearly $45 million to fund 356 new school resource officer positions. Funding will be provided by grants from the department’s Community Oriented Policing Services, or COPS, office.

“Just over nine months after the senseless mass shooting at Sandy Hook, we remain committed to providing every resource we can to ensure that the children of Newtown can feel safe and secure at school and elsewhere,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement. “And as we hold lost loved ones in our thoughts and prayers, we resolve to continue to support and protect this community — and to help them heal together.”

Holder announced the department has allocated $150,000 to put police officers in schools in Newtown. The grant from the department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance is intended to fund two positions, such as resource officers.

The NRA was initially criticized by Democrats for focusing so closely on school security, and rejecting gun control measures, following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.in which 26 people were killed. NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre in December called for armed officers to be installed in every school in the country.

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