Schools, Agencies Win $1.39M In Safety Grants

HARRISBURG PA – More than $1.39 million in Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency grant funding intended to improve school safety and security, and reduce or prevent community violence, was awarded Tuesday (April 30, 2019) to the Pottstown Police Department, four area school districts, and an local non-profit with ties to Pottstown.

The six local money winners are the:

  • Pottstown police, $350,552;
  • Pottsgrove School District, $51,000;
  • Spring-Ford Area district; $386,192;
  • The youth development program of the Olivet Boys & Girls Club of Reading and Berks County, which operates Ricketts Community Center in Pottstown, $350,594;
  • Upper Perkiomen district, $58,320; and
  • Phoenixville Area district, $194,480.

Few specifics were immediately available on how recipients planned to use the money, for which they applied through a competitive review process involving more than 200 entries.

Spring-Ford Area School District police department members include, from left, Chief David Boyer, Ofc. Jason Corropolese, Ofc. Gwen Phillips, Ofc. Dave Egleston; and Ofc. Bob Greenwood (not pictured)

The exception was Spring-Ford. Chief Dave Boyer, district coordinator of safety, security and emergency preparedness, said its money would be used improve district-wide emergency communications.

“In any emergency situation, from a traffic incident to a school-wide issue, being able to communicate directly with all stakeholders is key. With these funds, we’ll be able to upgrade our current system so that it is interoperable with all emergency management offices in the county. This enhancement is another step in the right direction to ensure student and staff safety,” Boyer said.

Most other schools, according to commission information, sought funding for safety and security assessments, risk assessment, safety and violence prevention curriculum, security planning and technology, student codes of conduct, violence prevention programs, district-wide safety, violence prevention, emergency preparedness and all-hazards plans, student discipline management, or costs related to school resource officers or school police officers.

A complete list of all school district and agency grant recipients is available here. The funds were included in the state’s 2018-19 budget.

Local politicians wasted no time in reporting the award news, in media releases issued by several state representatives and senators. Among them was Rep. Joe Ciresi, whose 146th Legislative District includes Lower Pottsgrove, Limerick and Perkiomen townships, and parts of Pottstown, Royersford and Trappe.

“It’s absolutely critical that we do everything we can to keep our kids safe. I’m pleased to see the school districts looking for ways to enhance safety … I congratulate the Pottstown Police on (its) grant. I’m glad to see the state make these investments,” he said. “We all have to work together to keep our communities safe.”

Top photo from Google Images
Spring-Ford police photo from the school district