Schools Receive Grants To Increase Safety

October 12, 2018

Four Lackawanna County school districts will share more than $100,000 in state grants to make students safer. The Safe Schools Targeted grants are part of an $8.4 million investment to prevent and reduce violent incidents in schools, purchase safety and security-related equipment and provide training and compensation of school resource and police officers. Scranton received $25,000, and Riverside got $20,206 for the purchase of security-related equipment to increase safety at schools. Equipment eligible for purchase with grant funding includes identification systems, metal detectors, protective lighting, surveillance equipment, emergency communications equipment and training in the use of security-related technology. “Being awarded this grant has allowed us to take advantage of technological advances that will help to keep our students safe in terms of prevention and during times when every second matters,” Riverside Superintendent Paul Brennan said. Scranton will use the grant money to purchase metal detectors for West Scranton High School and the three intermediate schools, Superintendent Alexis Kirijan, Ed.D., said. Carbondale Area will receive $39,500, and Valley View will receive $30,240 for the training and compensation of school police officers. Carbondale started its own school police department this year, hiring a director of school safety and security and a second officer to patrol campus. “We are so grateful for the award. We are just delighted,” Superintendent Robert Mehalick said. “You can’t put a price on school safety.” They funding will help Valley View hire an additional officer, so one officer is stationed at each of the district’s schools. “They’re not just here if something goes wrong,” Valley View Superintendent Rose Minniti, Ed.D., said. “They’re here to build relationships with kids.” Three other area schools received funding for school police officers: Wallenpaupack Area, $40,000; Elk Lake, $30,580; and Western Wayne, $39,999. Forest City Regional received $32,034 for a school resource officer and $20,000 to establish and implement programs to prevent and reduce violent incidents. Contact the writer: shofius@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9133; @hofiushallTT on Twitter

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