Pasadena ISD receives DOJ grant to bolster school safety

Pasadena ISD receives DOJ grant to bolster school safety
Posted on 11/01/2019
Pasadena ISD receives DOJ grant to bolster school safetyBy Kadey Heidrich
PISD Communications

Pasadena ISD is among four Southern District of Texas school districts to receive a Department of Justice grant to bolster school safety and support first responders. The awards, totaling more than $85.3 million, are designed to educate and train students and faculty, as well as support first responders who arrive on the scene of a school shooting or other violent incident.

“We are grateful to the Department of Justice for providing us with this grant,” said Executive Director Olivia Smith-Daugherty. “The provision of the COPS grant will ensure the district is able to make the necessary updates to the facilities and internal processes to continue keeping students safe.”

The grant program, managed by the Office of Justice Program’s Bureau of Justice Assistance and the DOJ’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, includes funding to support initiatives like developing school threat assessment teams and pursuing technological solutions to improve reporting of suspicious activity in and around schools, implementing or improving school safety measures and providing training to schools in implementing these programs. 

The grant, totaling $499,661, will aid Pasadena ISD funding the $666,215 project to meet several district-wide needs, including:

Hiring a district Director of Safety: Pasadena ISD recently hired a district Director of Safety, Derek Duckett, to manage school safety plan components that focus on four key areas: preventing, preparing, responding and recovering. The addition of a Director of Safety allows for the efficient implementation of school safety initiatives.   
Implementing a safety platform and notification system: Based on recommendations from the Safety Steering Committee and the School Safety and Security Committee, Pasadena ISD has chosen to use the comprehensive safety platform, CrisisGo. The platform is used by more than 14,000 schools across the country and will include tools such as alert and escalation capabilities, direct communications among users, tips and incident reporting, digital emergency response plans and administrative monitoring capabilities across the entire network. 
Improving security deterrence hardware at campuses: Across 68 campuses, 30 campuses are in need of additional BlueWave secured doors. The technology allows campuses to ensure that certain entrances can only be accessed through BlueWave badge holders. Throughout the district, campuses will also be provided with 137 security cameras to bring schools up to safety standards. The addition of the BlueWave secured doors and security cameras support the prevention component of the school safety plan. 

“We are so excited to get the ball rolling and utilize this grant to make our schools that much safer.” said district Director of Safety Derek Duckett