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School safety grant going for SROs, technology update

Lenoir County Public Schools will use a $282,000 grant from the state to increase the number of school resource officers in the district and to upgrade technology essential for school security.

The grant is part of $74.1 million in school safety grants recently announced by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction’s Center for Safer Schools.

“We want to provide a safe and conducive learning environment for all and this grant helps that process,” said Assistant Superintendent Nicholas Harvey II, who is the district’s school safety officer.

A school resource officer in uniform smiles as he plays a board game with a male student.It will allow LCPS to add two school resource officers (SROs) who will rotate among the district’s elementary schools, one assigned to schools in Kinston and the other, to schools in the county. SROs are already allocated for LCPS middle and high schools.

“This grant gives us an opportunity to provide more coverage at the elementary level,” Harvey said.

“You can never be too careful. It’s obviously in the best interest of our schools to have an officer providing coverage and protection for our students, as well as for the adults who work in or visit our buildings.”

The technology portion of the grant will be used to upgrade systems that allow administrators to monitor activities in the school buildings and on the campuses around the clock.

LCPS has previously used grant funds to install door access controls and to purchase metal detectors and handheld wands to be used as needed in all schools.

Photo caption:

Rob Mewborn, the school resource officer at Kinston High School, connects with a student over a game of Connect 4 during a lunch period on Wednesday. LCPS will use part of a state school safety grant to increase the number of SROs in the district.