Written by Jack Tobias
Three Bucks school districts and two in Montgomery county are among the 81 schools, school districts and municipalities that will share $3.9 million in grants for hiring school resource officers and school police officers.
Created through legislation authored by state Sen. Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) and signed into law last year by Gov. Tom Corbett, the grant program provides funding for programs to address school violence and security, according to a release posted on the state Department of Education website.
“Recent acts of violence have shown that we clearly need to do everything within our ability to keep students and teachers safe in their learning environments,” Scarnati said. "These grants ... will provide financial assistance for school resource officers and school police officers while allowing for local decision-making in order to provide the greatest level of security possible at our schools.”
Eligible schools and municipalities were able to apply for up to $60,000 for a school resource officer and up to $40,000 for a school police officer, the release said.
Grant recipients are required to fund the officer’s position for at least two years. Pending available funding for the 2014-15 school year, recipients will be eligible to receive 50 percent of their 2013-14 award without reapplying.
The following are the Bucks/Montco recipients:
--Quakertown Community School District (applied for by Quakertown borough), $60,000
--Pennsbury School District (applied for by Lower Makefield Township police), $55,384
--Morrisville Borough School District, $56,346
--Abington School District, $60,000.
--Three grants of $60,000 each for the Norristown Area School District, applied for by the Norristown school district, the East Norriton Township police and the West Norriton Township police.