SPRINGFIELD – Governor Pat Quinn today announced grant awards totaling $25 million to enhance security at 448 public elementary and secondary school districts, community colleges and state universities in Illinois. The grants will support 1,312 projects, including reinforced doors, shatter-resistant glass, physical locks and other security measures that will enhance safety for students, staff and visitors.
“Nothing is more important in Illinois than keeping our schools safe,” Governor Pat Quinn said. “These projects will strengthen security at main entry points, providing school personnel with critical moments to alert law enforcement, activate plans to protect students and save lives.”
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) announced the Illinois School and Campus Safety Grant Program earlier this year. Only one application per school district or college campus was accepted, although an application could include multiple projects. IEMA received grant applications totaling more than $54 million from 623 school districts and campuses.
More than two dozen individuals assisted with criteria development, review and evaluation of the applications, which included nearly 2,200 projects. These subject matter experts included representatives from state and local emergency management, academia, law enforcement, private security and school security.
“Our top priority for funding was to help schools establish a baseline security capability through such measures as reinforced doors, shatter-resistant glass and physical locks at primary public entrances,” said IEMA Director Jonathon Monken. “These are the types of security enhancements experts say can buy valuable time for schools to implement emergency plans.”