Through the Lyons Police Department, the Lyons School District received $39,250 in a Secure Our Schools grant.

The Lyons School District will be upgrading their surveillance equipment inside and out at both schools and on buses thanks to a grant.

Through the Lyons Police Department, the school district received $39,250 in a Secure Our Schools grant. The funding is designed to assist schools with the development of school safety resources. The program encourages law enforcement and school districts to partner together to improve school security and safety.

Through this program, applicants may request funding for the placement and use of deterrent measures such as new equipment, technology, training, and assessments at schools and on school grounds. The 2010 program placed a greater focus on school safety assessments. Lyons is performing a safety assessment, expected to be completing by May or June. By mid to late summer, the district expects to be fully updated, said school district Grant Writer and Grant Administrator Rebecca Gamba.

Gamba said the district asked BOCES to examine their safety plan and some deficiencies existed when compared to the state recommended plan. Mostly needed are software upgrades, Gamba said, but when finished there will no longer be blind spots in either school’s surveillance.

Gamba said the updates are by no means a reflection on the school district or its need for security, but rather for prevention purposes.

“It acts as a deterrent,” Gamba said of the surveillance equipment. “And if there is a crime captured, it helps resolve the problem quickly.”

The funds are provided through the U.S. Department of Justice as a matching grant and may be used on equipment such as surveillance cameras, door locking mechanisms, lighting, metal detectors, ID scanners, fingerprinting scanners, video cameras for buses, intercoms and defibrillators. Whatever the district spends to make the necessary upgrades must be equally matched by the school district — funding that has already been earmarked in the budget, Gamba said.

Gamba credits the police department for contacting the school district when they received information about the grant.

“Without the police department’s and village’s help with this, we probably never would have known this money was available,” she said.