More than 200 Vermont schools have applied for grants to enhance safety and security, using the results of a recent statewide school safety assessment to determine their needs.
The state is currently reviewing the applications for $4 million in safety grants.
It’s been five months since police say tragedy was narrowly avoided at Fair Haven Union High School, making the push for security enhancements a big priority across the state.
Rob Evans, the school safety liaison for the Agency of Education and Department of Public Safety, says schools will get the biggest return by implementing access control, interior and exterior locking mechanisms and emergency communications.
“We’ve got a real good feel for where schools stand on their school safety and emergency preparedness,” Evans said Thursday. “Things like security cameras and portable radios, enhanced first aid kits and go-kits… Those are some of the types and pieces of equipment that folks are asking for.”
Gov. Phil Scott says the state is committed to being proactive beyond what’s already been accomplished.
“I don’t believe this is over,” he said. “I mean, these were fairly small grants but we believe they will make a difference.”
Also this summer, Evans says training programs focused on crisis communication and incident command have been provided to school leaders across the state.
The review of applicants is expected to conclude by the end of July and money will be distributed to schools almost immediately.