State Announces First Round of School Security Grants
Avon Community Schools Superintendent Maggie Hoernemann (left) with Gov. Mike Pence, State Police Superintendent Doug Carter, and a group of Cedar Elementary School students. (WIBC.com photo: Eric Berman)
More than 200 Indiana schools are receiving the first round of the state's new security grants.
About half the schools opted to use the 30-to-50-thousand-dollar grants to hire school resource officers -- officers trained in both security and student counseling. Grants could also be applied to security equipment or a threat assessment.
Avon Community Schools Superintendent Maggie Hoernemann says her district already has resource officers, and electronic ID makers for visitors. But she says the grants will allow Avon to buy automatic door locks. Six of Avon's schools are already equipped with the locks, which come with a panic button for office staff to instantly lock down the building if something looks suspicious.
The state set aside nine million dollars a year for the grants in the wake of last year's massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Governor Pence, who visited Avon's Cedar Elementary School to announce the grants, says doing as much as possible to ensure the safety of both students and teachers will be a top priority. He says the handful of schools which didn't apply for this year's grants will be encouraged to do so next year.