The $76,002 state grant awarded last week to Middletown Public Schools will be used entirely to upgrade security at the city's North End elementary school.
Superintendent of Schools Patricia Charles after examining all the district's buildings, Macdonough Elementary was the best place to start upgrading security measures.
"We'll be increasing electronic access and surveillance and other related systems," Charles said.
Entrances to schools throughout the district are locked daily from the start of classes and admission is gained by pressing a buzzer which notifies office personnel.
The grant requires the city of Middletown to contribute $46,998 in local funding.
Last week, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced funds awarded in the first round of the Competitive Grant Program for school security, part of the Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety Act. The money reimburses municipalities for a portion of the costs associated with security infrastructure improvements made after Newtown's Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings last December.
"This is just one part of a bigger picture," Charles said, adding she expects more funds to come in the future.
The Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection received 111 applications for proposed infrastructure projects in 604 school buildings. A future round of funding will be announced soon.
Lt. Heather Desmond of the Middletown Police Department says officers are stationed in every one of the city's educational facilities.
"We do have an increased presence in the schools," she said, but declined to go into specifics, as releasing details could jeopardize safety. Some officers are in uniform, she said, but others, such as one at Macdonough Elementary, are in plain clothes.
"I'm really pleased we got such a strong amount," Charles said. "We had a really strong application and worked with state police," to make sure the security plan proposed was a comprehensive one.
"These are improvements we are going to be making at all the schools."
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