How Michigan is improving school security through safety grant program
Gwinn Area Community Schools was one of 14 U.P. school districts/schools awarded money to improve their safety practices
GWINN, Mich. (WLUC) - An all-too-familiar scene in Texas may have you asking - what has Michigan done to improve school security?
Since 2015, Michigan schools and school districts have been awarded over $66 million in safety grants, which Nancy Becker Bennett of the Michigan State Police Grants and Community Services Division said are beneficial.
“All of that money has been used to make security improvements in schools,” said Becker Bennett. “It’s been everything from doors to door locks to access controls. There’s been a ton of things schools have used.”
Earlier in the month, 150 schools and school districts, including 14 in the U.P., were awarded $10,000,000 in grants from the state. It is all part of the Competitive School Safety Grant Program. This money came six months after the deadly shooting in Oxford.
Gwinn Area Community Schools is getting $150,000, which Superintendent Brandon Bruce plans to use to update the fire alarm and P.A. systems.
“If a situation of this nature arises, we would be able to notify and get doors locked and get kids secure and put our safety protocols in place,” Bruce said.
Bruce anticipates the projects will be done before the start of the next academic year. However, he also hopes to do more preparations this summer.
“I was in contact with our chief of police. Also, we have a school board member that is a police officer,” said Bruce. “We’re looking at what kind of training or what are some things we can utilize.”
There is also the OK2SAY Tip Line, which Becker Bennett says has helped immensely with stopping suicides and other crisis situations.
“Thousands of tips are coming in for each of those, and we’ve had tons of tons of success stories where we have prevented problems from happening,” Becker Bennett said.
To submit a confidential tip, the number to call is 8-555-OK2SAY (855-565-2729). You can also send a text to OK2SAY at 652729 or email at OK2SAY@mi.gov.
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