Stanly County Schools receives around $800,000 in safety grants
Published 9:26 am Friday, November 4, 2022
Stanly County Schools recently received two grants to help bolster school security totaling almost $800,000, officials announced during the Board of Education meeting Tuesday night.
The district received $457,326 from the Department of Public Instruction’s Center for Safer Schools. This money in part will go to ensure each school has a full-time school resource officer (SRO).
“We are working with our local municipalities and our county government to make sure we can put that (adding resource officers) into place,” Jennifer Flowe, district director of safety and security, told the board.
With middle and high schools already having full-time SROs, one of Flowe’s biggest priorities has been ensuring the 10 elementary schools also have officers in place.
Only Locust Elementary and Norwood Elementary have had SROs in place since the beginning of the year, though Central and East Albemarle share an officer, who visits both schools daily. Stanfield and Oakboro have committed and are in the process of hiring officers.
SROs stationed at each of the middle and high schools routinely visit elementary schools in their area. The school resource officer at North Stanly High, for example, is assigned to Richfield and Badin.
The funds will also be used to ensure each school has at least one portable metal detector (high schools will need two) on site to ensure the orderly flow of people for large-scale events such as football and basketball games, graduations and award ceremonies.
The district has been working to install metal detectors at each of the elementary schools. Locust purchased a metal detector for its elementary school and the Sheriff’s Office recently purchased four, though no details were provided regarding where those will be deployed.
SCS was one of 200 school districts and charter schools across North Carolina to receive funding from the school safety grants, which totaled $74.1 million.
The district also received a school violence prevention program grant totaling $333,654 from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), which, under the umbrella of the U.S. Department of Justice, is “responsible for advancing the practice of community policing by the nation’s state, local, territorial, and tribal law enforcement agencies through information and grant resources,” according to its website.
Those funds will be used to complete key card access to schools across the district. This will “help improve safety to know who is in and out,” Flowe told the board.
“I know that every board member here certainly wants to say how much we appreciate you, Jennifer Flowe, and all the work that you’re doing in acquiring these grants for us,” Chairperson Glenda Gibson said. “To think that we’re able, hopefully, to have SROs at all of our schools, that is outstanding.”
SCS was one of six recipients in North Carolina to receive the COPS grant along with Person County Schools, Rockingham County Schools, Wilson County Schools, Bertie County Board of Education and Jackson County Board of Education.