Michigan Feb 17 2017 The Michigan State Police has awarded approximately $2 million in state grants to schools in order to purchased equipment or technology to improve the safety and security of school buildings.
MSP announced that 25 public school districts, 24 non-public schools and three charter schools will receive approximately $2 million in state grants to purchase equipment and/or technology to improve the safety and security of school buildings, students and staff.
"The safety of Michigan's students and educators is of utmost importance," said MSP Director Colonel Kriste Kibbey Etue. "This Competitive School Safety Grant Program will help make security improvements to school buildings that will provide a safer and more secure learning environment."
MSP received 84 applications, and grants were awarded to 25 public school districts, 24 non-public schools and three charter schools. Those schools include Ottawa County's Jenison Public Schools and Allegan County's Wayland Public Schools and St. Therese Catholic School. Over 62,500 students will benefit from security improvements.
The review committee gave priority to proposals that sought to secure access points at school buildings, as this is one of the best and most cost-effective ways to improve school safety and security.
In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting in 2012 in Newtown, Conn., where 20 children and six adult staff members were fatally shot, the security of schools has been an increasing priority for both schools and parents.
Holland Public, Zeeland Public and West Ottawa schools all had multi-million dollar bond projects in recent years that included upgraded safety and security of school buildings. In May 2016, Hamilton voters passed a $22.7 million bond that includes security upgrades for Hamilton Community Schools.
"We need to continue making investments to improve safety in our communities, and nowhere is this more important than in our schools," Gov. Rick Snyder said. "I appreciate the work of the Michigan State Police in identifying these opportunities where we can strengthen protections for Michigan kids."
Grant recipients have until Aug. 30 to spend their awards.