The Vigo County School Corp. has been awarded nearly $100,000 in state school safety funding, according to the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.
Kurt Brinegar, VCSC coordinator of safety and security, said the district purchased police and fire radios for all school protection officers at the schools for direct communication with first responders.
“We also have purchased radios and repeater towers for North and West Vigo High Schools. This is important for communication inside the schools for emergencies,” he stated.
Repeater towers boost the signal “so we can get better reception and you can understand the people when they talk. It has further reach around the campuses,” he said.
Statewide, the Indiana Secured School Safety Board approved more than $22.9 million in matching state grants. The grants have been allocated to 425 schools, which is the largest number of schools to ever apply, according to a state news release.
Funding can be used for several categories: school resource officers and law enforcement officer personnel costs; threat assessments; equipment and technology; training; and student/parent support services program.
Most of the funds, $15.6 million, are dedicated to school resource officer/law enforcement officer personnel costs, while $6.5 million is for equipment and technology.
Several Wabash Valley districts and schools received funding:
• Vigo County School Corp. — $99,945.
• Clay Community Schools Clay — $100,000.
• Southwest Sullivan School Corp. — $100,000.
• Southwest Parke Community School Corp. — $84,512.
• Saint Patrick School — $34,320.
• North Vermillion Community School Corp. — $30,000.
• Dugger Union Community School Corp. in Sullivan County — $9,860.
• Holy Cross School in Vigo County (Gibault) — $20,000.
• North Central Parke Community School Corp. — $60,000.
With this funding, Indiana now has invested more than $132.9 million in school safety since 2013, when the Secured School Safety Grant program was initiated.
“We continue to prioritize investments in school safety to help students and staff succeed without the worry of violence in Hoosier schools,” Gov. Eric J. Holcomb said in the release.
“This funding allow schools to address their specific safety needs through additional personnel and programs designed to prepare for and prevent school violence.”
The General Assembly allocated $19 million the past two years for the Secured School Safety Grant (SSSG). Legislators will set future allocations during this year’s budget session.
With the addition of $3.9 million in funds unspent from previous grant cycles, Indiana was able to fully fund all top priority, eligible requests from all schools that applied, the release stated.