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State offers $12 million in grants to schools to add safety features

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School districts in Ohio can apply for nearly $12 million in grants designed to improve safety in school buildings through the end of February.

Districts can apply for up to $20,000 through the Ohio Attorney General’s School Safety Grant for equipment and technology designed to alert law enforcement of shootings and other hazards.

Funds could be used to install systems that allow immediate camera access to responding law enforcement, silent panic alarms, shot detection technology, license plate reader alerts for registered sex offender vehicles, protection order alert systems and wanted dangerous person alert systems.

Other possible uses for the grants, which are based on student population numbers, include active-shooter response training, certifications for school resource officers, training to identify and assist students with mental health issues and supplies or equipment related to school safety or for implementing a school-safety plan.

Public schools, charter schools, educational service centers, STEM schools and schools for people with developmental disabilities can apply for the grant on the Ohio Grants Portal.

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Renee Fox is a reporter for 89.7 NPR News. Fox joined the WOSU newsroom from the Tribune Chronicle/Vindicator in the Youngstown area, where she’d been a reporter since 2014. Contact Renee at renee.fox@wosu.org.