Washington, North Daviess and Barr-Reeve school systems will receive a combined $115,000 from the first round of the Indiana Secured School Safety Grant Program. The awards were part of a total of $9 million in grants throughout the state announced by Indiana Governor Mike Pence.
“The safety of the students, teachers and administrators in our schools is of the utmost importance to the people of Indiana, and I count it as a privilege to distribute these resources to schools across our state,” said Governor Pence. “These grants will allow our public schools and school corporations to add resources that will help secure our schools so they can focus on educating our students.”
The state General Assembly created the program and made the funding available following the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
The money the schools receive are in the form of 50-50 matching grants that could be used to employ a school resource officer, conduct a threat assessment or purchase equipment to restrict access to the school or expedite the notification of first responders.
The North Daviess School system received a maximum $50,000 grant. The school system will use the money to upgrade security at the schools on its campus. The new equipment will include additional cameras, panic buttons and upgrading the magnetic locks at the buildings. “We’re excited,” said Superintendent Robert Bell. “We will be getting all this additional security equipment at basically half price.”
North Daviess officials believe the moves will both make their buildings more secure and improve response by police in case there ever should be an incident. “The cameras will help us keep track of who is coming in and out of schools,” said Bell. “We’re also going to link them into the sheriff’s office so that they can see if any trouble arises. The panic buttons will go straight to police so that they can respond quickly, and the magnetic door locks will let us not only control who comes in and out, but also alerts us in case someone decides to prop a door open.”