With the horrible tragedies that have occurred in the last decade in reference to school shootings, including the one today, the need to ensure the safety of children in schools has never been more front of mind. State governments, the Federal Government, and local sheriff’s offices have been scrambling to find new ways to secure schools, mandate safety drills, and create better conditions for students and teachers, while lowering the chances that another horrific incident occurs.
In Logan County, Ohio, the sheriff’s department in partnership with the Logan County’s Department of Education has been awarded $196,500 in federal grant funding to be used for specific initiatives. These initiatives are aimed at improving Logan County safety in regards to students and faculty.
The grant funding is being given through the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (OCOPS) School Violence Prevention Program. The purpose of this program is twofold: firstly, the program is intended to help schools enact physical security measures meant to further secure the school against any possible attacks.
Physical security measures can include identifying and securing vulnerable facilities, through the use of reinforcing doors, limiting entry points as well as limiting entry points. The second purpose of the program is to invest in and utilize software that will increase the response time of law enforcement officials.
In Logan County the $196,500 in federal dollars will be used to better coordinate cooperation with law enforcement, and training law enforcement in specific school violence prevention methods. The funds will also be used in securing schools more efficiently by installing more metal detectors, locks, increased lighting, as well as other deterrents that will mitigate danger in the event of another school shooting. Additionally, the funds will be used on technology that will help law enforcement to respond quickly and efficiently to such calls of emergency.
The school violence prevention grant was offered as part of a program open to schools in all fifty states. The grant was awarded due to the hard work and collaboration between the Logan County Department of Education and The Logan County Sheriffs Office.
According to Logan County Sheriff, Sonya M. Dingess Porter: “We continually look at what needs to be done and what we can focus on to make the environment of schools much better. This grant was definitely one of them. We want to be ahead of the ball game. We want to make this a priority to make sure our children are safer, and they have a safer learning environment”
The first school to receive funding and installments for these initiatives will be Logan High High School, but the rest of the schools in Logan County will follow shortly afterward.
Authored by Lianne Hikind