By Justin Polk
Meridian Times staff writer
School safety has been a very important topic in government. Meridian township has taken that a step further. In a press release by Meridian Township the state of Michigan awarded Meridian more than $19,000 for school safety. One way safety can be attained is by reducing response times of emergency officials. According to the press release, that is where the money of this grant will go.
The equipment is designed to reduce emergency response times to by notifying the police departments directly. This will also ensure timely notification to school staff and administrators.
Okemos Superintendent Dr. Catherine Ash is working hard with the Meridian Township police to ensure funds are available to install the upgrades.
“We will have to work with the Meridian Township Police to determine when the funds are for us to access,” said Ash. The fourth-year superintendent continued, then the upgrade will occur as quickly as possible.
With two school districts in the township, Meridian needs to allocate the funds accordingly. There are five Haslett schools as well as seven Okemos schools that will receive the upgrade. Ash said she hopes funding will be easily allocated to the schools when the time comes.
“It is our hope to provide,” said the superintendent who has been with Okemos for 17-years. Ash continued, “All schools within the district the same level of funding.”
Meridian is not the only township to receive money from this grant. According to the Michigan State Police website, the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program was also awarded to the East Lansing Police Department and the Lansing Police Department. East Lansing is going to do the same upgrades as Meridian but Lansing will help enhance security within one of the schools.
All of these grants have been awarded out due to the $6 million the state has received from the federal government. This is to be used to strengthen crime fighting and anti-drug campaigns efforts across the state.