New Castle, DE- Thanks to an award from the federal Department of Justice( DOJ), the Colonial School District will receive $393,120.00 over a two- year period for the installation of security cameras. The cameras will be installed at the district’s eight elementary schools, Colwyck, which houses the district’s preschool program, and the John G. Leach School for severely disabled students. COPS, that’s Community Oriented Policing Services, made the award as an arm of DOJ.

Colonial’s School Safety and Security Officer, John Barr, said he was pleasantly surprised Colonial was awarded the sizable grant that he applied for knowing most funds go to police agencies and municipalities. “ It was kind of a reach but I knew with the expertise that we have, it will benefit not only us but the community,” Barr said adding, “Our goal is to provide a safe environment that affects not only our students and staff but our community too by using all the assets we can without having the  taxpayers fund it.”

A stipulation of the DOJ grant is that Colonial matches a quarter of the funding which amounts to roughly $120,000 for the cameras.  Surveillance cameras are already in place at William Penn High School and the district’s three middle schools. Barr says Colonial was also awarded $377,000 in state funds for school security, but he will now remove surveillance cameras from the list so those funds will be used for security measures in other schools.

“Colonial makes every effort to maximize our dollars and save taxpayers whenever we can. I am thrilled to have federal and state financial support to help make our schools safer for our students and staff,” Superintendent Dr. Dusty Blakey said.