Schools receive security grants

Published 4:52 am Thursday, October 11, 2018

Seven schools in the Heart of Virginia’s three school divisions are receiving a combined nearly $139,000 in grants from the state to install new security equipment.

Dr. Daisy Hicks

The Office of the Governor announced the grants Oct. 4, which awarded approximately $6 million to 102 school divisions throughout Virginia.

These funds, according to the Office of the Governor, could help school divisions pay for school safety equipment that include video monitoring systems, metal detectors, classroom locks, electronic- access controls, visitor-identification systems, direct communications links between schools and law enforcement agencies, and other security upgrades.

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Buckingham County Public Schools received a total of $70,244 in grants, which is set to be used at Buckingham County Elementary School, Buckingham County High School and Buckingham County Middle School.

Dr. Barbara Johnson

Prince Edward County Public Schools received $60,691 for Prince Edward County Elementary School and Prince Edward Middle School.

Dr. Barbara Johnson, division superintendent, said in statement that the funds will be used to upgrade the cameras and security systems the two schools.

“We are grateful for the funds,” Johnson said. “Any opportunity to improve the security on our campus is welcome.”

Cumberland County received $7,925 for Cumberland County High School and Cumberland County Middle School.

Dr. Daisy Hicks, superintendent of Buckingham County Public Schools, said the funding from the grants are set to be used “to replace and upgrade our camera system” for the three schools.

Dr. Chip Jones

Cumberland County Public Schools officials said the grant funding is set to be used to upgrade the current badging system for the middle and high schools.

“Security is a critical issue for schools, but also an expensive one,” Dr. Chip Jones, assistant superintendent, said in a statement. “This grant will help supplement the current budget and allow the division to upgrade its current visitor badging system at the high school/ middle school complex.”

According to school division officials, the upgraded visitor badging system will allow for visitor tracking and assessment. “It will feature a streamlined registration process on a touchscreen kiosk,” officials said in documentation provided by the school division. “The attached webcam will capture each visitor’s photo at the time of check-in and will also collect a digital signature. An attached label maker will then issue a visitor badge, which will include a picture of the visitor and the time/date of the visit. In addition, the kiosk will scan the visitor’s driver’s license and conduct a sexual offender background check. Pictures and historical information regarding all visitors, including the date and time of arrival and departure, will be stored for future use or reports.”