by Graham Sturgeon, co-editor
The Michigan State Police (MSP) recently informed the Durand Area Schools (DAS) that the school system has been selected to receive a $118,858 School Safety Grant through the MSP Competitive School Safety Grant Program. The grant does not require any matching funds from DAS, and the school system will be reimbursed after completing the school safety project.
The school system will use the funds to add security window film to the entrances of each of the district’s facilities, which will further enhance each school’s security. The school system has dedicated significant funds from its recently approved no-mill bond to add 140 new video cameras in its schools and to improve each school’s secure entrance, so the addition of the security window film will give staff and students more time to put active shooter emergency plans into action in the case of an emergency. The film is rated to withstand small caliber gunshots for up to 90 seconds, which is quite a long time in an active shooter situation.
The MSP Grants and Community Services Division informed DAS that requests for 2018 School Safety Grants exceeded $69 million, “which made for very difficult decisions by the review committee.” The review committee included representatives from the MSP, the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police, the Michigan Sheriff’s Association, the Michigan Department of Education, the Michigan Association of Non-Public Schools and the Executive Office of the Governor. Durand’s grant request was one of 188 selected by the committee.
The grant stipulates that Durand’s school safety project must be completed by Sept. 30, 2019.