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DHS School Safety Grant Helping Local Schools

Both Tippecanoe School Corporation and Lafayette School Corporation are using the Secured School Safety Grant to make their schools more secure. How they are using the funds differs.

Posted: Sep 9, 2019 6:48 PM

LAFAYETTE Ind. (WLFI)- The Indiana Department of Homeland Security recently increased the amount of matching dollars they usually offer to school corporations for safety initiatives.

Both Tippecanoe School Corporation and Lafayette School Corporation are using the grant to make their schools more secure. How they are using the funds differs.

"Our approach with our school resource officer program is we try to be proactive with in the schools,” says Aaron Gilman a school resource officer for the Tippecanoe School Resource.

Being present in schools is vital to that proactive approach.

"The more presence that we can have on campus the safer campuses we are going to have,” added Gilman. “ More importantly, it allows us to form better relationships with our youth in our community."

TSC is using the money it received from the Secured School Safety Grant to add another School Resource Officer to its ranks.

"School resource officers have been a very big part of our safety plan here and they are very well received by students and staff,” added -Steve Tobias the director of safety at TSC.

As of now TSC has two school resource officers, who are in charge of 19 schools. Officers say they are looking forward to having more man power on school campuses.

While TSC is using the grant for man power, the Lafayette School Corporation is using the grant for safety upgrades.

"The focus is going to be a lot more clear and the clarity is going to be upgraded to help us see what's going on in the building," says Scott Leverenz the vice principal at Jefferson High School.

The school corporation will be updating and adding new cameras across a number of schools in the district. A resource school officer says it’s important to help students and their parents feel safe.

"As school officials and the police we just want everyone to come to school and be safe in a positive learning environment,” said Mark Roberts a school resource officer for the Lafayette School Corporation. “If anything were to go wrong we want them to be reassured that we would be on top of it."

With the matching funds required by schools, more than 35 million dollars will be invested in school safety this year in Indiana.

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