SHS to update security system

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Salem High School will be receiving $63,555 from the state to go towards switching its analog security camera system to digital.

SHS is one of 519 schools to receive a portion of the $6 million in grants by the Commonwealth for school security updates, which were announced by Gov. Terry McAuliffe last Wednesday.

Schools had to apply for the grants, which were developed by the Virginia Department of Education and the Department of Criminal Justice Services. The Commonwealth prioritized awards by schools most in need of modern security.

“These grants represent a crucial investment in safeguarding Virginia’s young people and the educators, administrators and support staff dedicated to preparing them for the future,” Governor McAuliffe said in his statement. “A new Virginia economy requires new and innovative solutions, and these school security equipment grants fit the bill.”

The school has agreed to match the grant by 25 percent, which will equal out to over $80,000 in updates.

“If all goes as planned, cameras should be up and running by April,” said Mike Bryant, Salem City Schools Assistant Superintendent. “It will give them a lot more protection. We’ll be able to see areas of the building that we couldn’t before.”

On a statewide level, the money will pay for video monitoring systems, metal detectors, classroom locks, electronic-access controls, and visitor-identification systems amongst other security upgrades.

“We feel very fortunate to be a part of that,” Bryant said.

The school will met with engineers on Sept. 29 to begin planning for the new system.