-- Del. Chris Peace applauds grant funding for increased school security --
Central Virginia –As a member of the House Select Committee on School Safety, Delegate Christopher K. Peace (R-Hanover) applauds the recent announcement of $6 million in School Security Equipment Grants being awarded to protect students and teachers in schools across the Commonwealth.
The Virginia Department of Education and Department of Criminal Justice Services developed the criteria utilized in allocating the awards to local school divisions. The criteria places priority on schools most in need of modern security equipment, schools with relatively high numbers of offenses, schools with equipment needs identified by a school security audit, and schools in divisions least able to afford security upgrades.
“I am proud that the House of Delegates led the effort in recent years to invest in school safety, providing over $30 million in funding to hire school resource officers and invest in security infrastructure, as well as passing legislation to allow local schools to hire retired law enforcement to protect our children,” stated Del. Peace.
Peace continued, “In 2013, the House passed HB 2343, creating the School Security Infrastructure Improvement Fund and Local School Safety Fund. This recurring grant fund allows the Department of Criminal Justice Services to offer grants of up to $100,000 per locality and require a 25% local match. Localities are allowed to use the money to fund upgrades to school security like hallway cameras, buzz-in systems and automatic locks on classroom doors. Additionally, since 2013 we appropriated approximately $6 million per year for school security infrastructure grants.”
The 97th District divisions awarded the school security equipment grants are as follows: Hanover County — $94,752 for John M. Gandy Elementary, Oak Knoll Middle and Pearson’s Corner Elementary, King William County — $88,000 for King William High, and New Kent County —$94,782 for New Kent Middle
The grants will pay for video monitoring systems, metal detectors, classroom locks, electronic-access controls, visitor-identification systems, direct communications links between schools and law enforcement agencies, and other security upgrades in 443 schools and other instructional facilities.