$875K to prevent violence in schools in Pendleton, Hardy counties

Published: Oct. 18, 2022 at 4:54 PM EDT
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FRANKLIN, W. Va. (WHSV) - Hundreds of thousands of dollars will go to four school districts in West Virginia with the goal of making schools safer and preventing violence. Pendleton County Schools received the maximum federal share of $500,000 from the U.S. Department of Justice.

The COPS Office’s School Violence Prevention Program (SVPP) funding will provide up to 75% funding for school safety measures in and around school grounds. There is a local cash match requirement of at least 25%.

PCS will use the SVPP money to update security cameras that integrate with the Pendleton County Sheriff’s Office, locking systems for classrooms and exterior doors, and create an integrated mass notification and emergency communication system to enhance communications and security across the county.

J.P. Mowrey, the treasurer of PCS, said this funding allows them to fast-track its school safety goals.

“We were going to try to [make updates] systematically over a number of years. It was going to take some time to get that funding, but we became aware of this grant,” Mowery said. “It’s going to be a tremendous lift for our school system.”

Changes will be made at all schools across Pendleton County with the goal of having everything completed by the end of 2023.

“It’s going to make sure that we have up-to-date modern camera systems that if there is an issue, those cameras can be searched easily. They can be looked through and information can be gathered quickly versus taking extra time to do that,” Mowery said.

Three other school districts in West Virginia were awarded money, including Hardy County Schools, which received $375,000. 235 schools across the country received SVPP grants.

SVPP funding can be used for the following school safety measures in and around K-12 schools and school grounds:

  • Coordination with law enforcement
  • Training for local law enforcement officers to prevent student violence against others and self
  • Metal detectors, locks, lighting, and other deterrent measures
  • Technology for expedited notification of local law enforcement during an emergency
  • Any other measure that the COPS Office determines may provide a significant improvement in security

For more information on the School Violence Prevention Program, click here.