Saturday, December 07, 2019
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Sharyland-LogoThe Sharyland school district is taking steps to strengthen security on campus thanks to a $166,000 federal grant the district is applying for.

At a board workshop last week, Sharyland district trustees were informed of the 2019-2021 School Safety and Security Grant which aids school districts in security improvement projects as they receive a cut of the $100 million total that makes up the grant.

The grant, district Technology Director David M. Culberson said, will help the district create a two-way radio system for the entire district to communicate with.

“We have a lot of needs, funding really helps if we can get it,” Culberson said.

The radio system will connect the entire district and is similar to one the Mission school district is working on, Culberson said. As previously reported, earlier this month the Mission Consolidated School District were presented with a check of more than $374,000 through a program with the Department of Justice that the district said would be used to purchase communication equipment for a new communications system.

The Sharyland school district had been working on a similar system and were motivated to look for funding resources after the grant was awarded to Mission CISD.

“Mission was awarded that grant to get a system like that by next summer and having a system like that is a priority,” Culberson explained. “The ultimate goal is to have a system that connects all the campuses together so if I need to talk to someone from Pioneer or Shimotsu, I just turn the knob to those channels and can communicate with that school directly to warn them of threats going their way or check in on them. This grant is going to be a big piece of finishing it off, this is something we’re jumping up and down about.”

Security has become a major focus for the district. Last year the district created a safety committee to oversee school safety and security. They met with the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office to receive an evaluation of the safety of each campus, added fencing to all campuses and added extra security guards.

Though no timetable had been set for the implementation of the new radio system, Culberson said that the deadline to apply for the grant is January 22, 2020.