School Districts Get Federal Security Funding
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Districts including Livonia Public Schools and Clarenceville School District in Michigan and Revere Public Schools in Massachusetts are among the 128 beneficiaries of grants from the United States Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) issued to law enforcement agencies and municipalities to enhance school safety in 38 states. The grants, totaling $16 million, were awarded under COPS' Secure Our Schools program, which provides funds for security gadgets and services in schools and on school grounds.
The Secure Our Schools program will provide up to 50 percent of the total cost for installation of closed-circuit surveillance systems, metal detectors, locks, lighting, fencing, and other equipment. The grants can also be used to pay half of the cost of security assessments, security training, and other services.
"Our schools should be places where students can learn and develop without fear of violence," said Attorney General Eric Holder. "With these grants, the Justice Department is providing police and school districts with additional resources to help ensure the safety and security of our children."
The police department in Livonia received about $231,000 to modify security systems in two districts. The award includes $172,000 for Livonia Public Schools to expand its current security system and $59,000 for Clarenceville School District to add surveillance cameras to buses and schools. The districts will provide matching funds of those same amounts to complete their security upgrades.
Revere received about $139,000, which it will use for the installment of surveillance systems in three schools. According to coverage in a local paper, the IP video system will link the schools with the police department and the school resource officer.
Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.