December 20, 2013

Local schools buying more safety equipment

Funds going to new video equipment, entry systems.

By Amie Sites Pharos-Tribune

---- — Local schools are putting grants to use after Indiana Gov. Mike Pence announced a program of about $9 million to strengthen security in Indiana schools.

The program is providing 241 schools with matching grants to be used for safety equipment, threat assessments or school resource officers.

Locally, several schools received the grants including Logansport, Southeastern, Pioneer, Carroll, Delphi, Eastern Pulaski and Peru.

Logansport Community School Corporation received the full amount of $50,000. The grant is being used to purchase security cameras and to help pay for a student resource officer at the school, LCSC Superintendent Michele Starkey said.

There are currently four student resource officers working part time at the Columbia and Lincoln middle schools.

Working with the Logansport Police Department has helped ensure the safety of the students, Starkey said.

The security equipment will allow administrators to better monitor what is going on in the schools. New security cameras will be placed at the elementary and middle schools. The money will also allow older cameras to be replaced.

Eastern Pulaski Community Schools also received the matching grant money.

Eastern Pulaski schools will be using its $17,915 grant to update video equipment so the feed will be accessible online for administrators and law enforcement, Eastern Pulaski Superintendent Dan Foster said.

The elementary will also have updates to the entry lock system so teachers will have keys. More doors will be added that have the capability to shut and lock down with the push of a button. The doors will be placed at the elementary cafeteria and the wing to the kindergarten, Foster said.

The updates should be added at the first of the year, he said. Foster said he was pleased with the grant.

“It’s one of those things you hope you never have to use, but it’s there if we have to,” Foster said.

Peru Community Schools and Delphi Community Schools both received the full amount of $50,000 to be used for school security equipment. Southeastern Schools received $43,152 and Carroll schools received $29,230.40.

Pioneer Regional Schools received $12,500 and will use it to install a fence around the elementary playground and portable classrooms.

A fence at the playground, used by kindergarten through second grade, will help keep students in a confined area and keep others from wandering onto the property, said Beth Dean, Pioneer Elementary principal.

Fencing will also be added to the four portable classrooms, Dean said.

“I think we were excited because there are always things you would like to do with your building grounds but sometimes you’re not able to,” Dean said. “We’re always trying to do what’s in the best interest of safety for our students and this will be a step in the right direction.”