Metal detectors on their way to Greene County schools

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 25, 2005

The Greene County Board of Education and Eutaw Police Chief Reginald Spencer have taken the necessary steps to secure funds to make all of their schools a safe and peaceful learning environment.

Spencer said Tuesday the applications have been submitted for a Secure Our Schools grant that will go a long way toward establishing just that.

“We are in the process of applying for a Secure Our Schools grant through the Department of Justice,” Spencer said. “It is a $25,000 grant that comes with a 50 percent match.”

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The Greene County Board of Education has stepped up and said they would be willing to do their part to help secure the grant. Spencer said the board would front the matching funds leaving the city with no expenses from the grant.

“The Board of Education has agreed to provide the matching funds,” Spencer said.

“There is no cost to the city for the matching grant.”

The new metal detectors will be used in all schools except the vocational school, not just high schools and junior high schools to ensure no weapons make their way into the halls.

Spencer said the layout of the vocational school made detectors a non-factor.

“It is going to be used to place metal detectors throughout the Greene County school system,” Spencer said. “We have planned to get metal detectors for each school with the exception of the vocational school because the layout and the way the buildings are there would not benefit from a metal detector.”

The next step is establishing where the detectors should be placed. Spencer said he would personally tour each school to see where the detectors would be most effective. He said this was his next step as they had received word the grant will likely be approved.

“My plans are to go to each school and look at them and see which places need to have them in place,” Spencer said. “We were told that the grant has been approved and there are just some statistics and paperwork we have to get to them.”

Spencer said all paperwork should be competed by next week and everything will be in place to attain the detectors.

“We just have a few little items we need to work out,” Spencer said. “We are trying to compete it by next week and hopefully we can have this on your (the mayors) desk by Wednesday.”

The metal detectors will cost $400 each and will be placed in the schools and football stadium. Spencer said the name of the grant said it all for their purpose in applying.

“This is a Secure Our Schools grant and that is what we are trying to do,” Spencer said. “We are trying to secure our schools as best we can and keep firearms out of the schools.”