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Area towns receive federal grants to improve school security, officer safety

  • File photo  File photo



Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 06, 2018

New surveillance cameras are coming to Granby public schools and improved video surveillance management will be deployed in Amherst as the result of grants for local law enforcement equipment and technology.

The $20,000 received by Granby and the $18,014 going to Amherst is part of $1.3 million in federal Byrne Justice Assistance Grant funds, disseminated through the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security to 77 communities. The grants are designed to better protect schools and students from random acts of violence, and protecting the safety of officers on the street.

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said in a statement that some of the grants will pay for bulletproof vests, helmets and medical equipment.

“Our goal is to provide law enforcement officers with the most updated equipment and technology available to ensure their safety while they serve on the front lines to protect our communities,” Polito said.

Three other local communities also earned grants. Sunderland received $20,000 for bulletproof vests, as well as active shooter kits, medical kits and a surveillance system for the elementary school.

Plainfield, which got $15,292, will use the money to purchase tasers, armor and “stop the bleed” kits.

Belchertown will use $9,300 to buy active shooter kits.

Secretary of Public Safety and Security Daniel Bennett said in a statement that potential dangers can’t be ignored and that the state needs to ensure youth, school personnel and police officers have the necessary technology to keep communities safe.

“These funds are critically important as they will provide our schools with much needed security cameras, alarms and active shooter kits for our classrooms,” Bennett said.

Scott Merzbach can be reached  at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.