Schools receive $357,375 federal safety grant
Union County schools have been awarded a $357,375 federal grant to improve their security.
The awarding of the grant was announced Tuesday, Oct. 2, by U.S. Mike Bost, R-Ill.
The grant was awarded through the School Violence Prevention Program, a Department of Justice, DOJ, program created by bipartisan legislation sponsored by Bost.
The Securing Our Schools Act was signed into law in March 2018.
Bost sent a letter to local government officials to raise awareness of the funding availability and met with school administrators in Anna this summer.
A total of 91 jurisdictions were awarded school safety grants nationwide, including seven in Illinois during the program’s first year.
Eight Union County schools were awarded a total of $357,375. The program is expected to grow as awareness increases.
“As a father and a grandfather, I know the importance of ensuring our children have an environment where they are safe to grow and learn,” Bost said in a news release.
“We have advanced safety technology in banks, office buildings, and retail locations, there is no reason we shouldn’t have this technology at our schools to protect our children.
“This grant program was created because we put politics aside and found a commonsense, bipartisan way to keep our kids safe. And that’s the most important thing.”
“This funding will be essential for providing security enhancements to keep our school safe,” said Shelly Clover-Hill, superintendent at Shawnee Community School District No. 84.
“After meeting with Congressman Bost to discuss the school safety program this summer, I know he is passionate about keeping our kids safe.”
Union County Sheriff Scott Harvel spearheaded the grant application process.
The 2018 School Violence Prevention Program provides funding directly to states, units of local government and Indian tribes to be used to improve security at schools and on school grounds in the grantees’ jurisdictions through evidence-based school safety programs that may include one or more of the following:
Coordination with local law enforcement.
Training for local law enforcement officers to prevent school violence against others and self.
Placement and use of metal detectors, locks, lighting, and other deterrent measures.
Acquisition and installation of technology for expedited notification of local law enforcement during an emergency.
Any other measure that, in the determination of the director of the COPS Office, may provide a significant improvement in security.