State gives additional $22 million for School Security Grant Program

On July 17, Gov. Dannel Malloy announced that the state has made $22 million available to continue the year-old School Security Grant Program.

The matching-grant grant program was created as part of the 2013 Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety Act.

“Providing safe learning environments for our students and educators is a basic responsibility of state and local governments,” said Gov. Malloy.

“Last year, we secured $21 million to support grant requests for security upgrades at 604 schools in 111 districts — every school that applied.”

Last year, Wilton requested $108,495 for two schools, of which the state funded $26,354 and the town matched $82,141, according to the state’s summary of all School Security Grant Program recipients.

The application process for the second round of funding began the week of July 21, and, the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) has started sending application packets to eligible schools.

According to the governor’s July 17 press release, the School Security Grant Program will expand eligibility to all public schools, including technical and inter-district magnet schools, as well as private schools.

The state funding is used to reimburse a portion of the costs associated with school security infrastructure improvements, according to the press release.

“This next round of funding will allow us to get the resources out to communities that need to modernize their school security infrastructure to help keep students safe,” said Gov. Malloy.

According to the press release, the program will also expand “the security infrastructure eligible for reimbursement to include real time interoperable communications and multimedia sharing infrastructure.”

Eligible infrastructure under existing law includes, but is not limited to, the installation of:

•Surveillance cameras.

•Penetration-resistant vestibules.

•Ballistic glass.

•Solid core doors.

•Double-door access.

•Computer-controlled electronic locks.

•Entry door buzzer systems.

•Scan card systems.

•Panic alarms.

William Shea, DESPP deputy commissioner, said the expansion of this program “demonstrates the continuing commitment and investment Gov. Malloy has made to our children and educators.”

“Public safety is one of the core functions of our government, especially when it comes to our children’s safety and security,” he said.

The application for the School Security Grant Program will be available at www.ct.gov/despp and www.sde.ct.gov.