Sen. Kissel: Funding For School Security Upgrade Gets Extended

February 22, 2008

State Homeland Security Office Extends Grant Deadline Six Months

State Senator John A. Kissel, R-Enfield, today is announcing that the state Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS) is extending the deadline for the Enfield Board of Education in their efforts to install security systems in three secondary schools. According to Sen. Kissel, in January the town received a competitive grant in the amount of $549,986 to enhance school security that calls for the installation of closed circuit televisions, access control and alarm monitoring systems. However, one of the conditions of the grant was that the project would be designed, put out to bid and fully completed by the town by June 30th of this year. Enfield Board of Education Chairman Andre Greco has been seeking an extension of this deadline and after speaking with officials at DEMHS, Sen. Kissel was able to help get them to extend the deadline to Dec. 30th.

“To get everything done in just four months, especially while school is in session, would be nearly impossible and would put the entire grant at risk,” said Sen. Kissel. “This is really good news for the town of Enfield and for the safety and security of our children. I really want to commend the state office of Emergency Management for their recognition that the town really is doing everything possible to comply with conditions of the grant. The problem that has occurred is strictly a timing issue and with the extra six months there should be no problem in making sure not only the project gets done but it gets done correctly.”

Under the school security enhancement project the Enfield Police Department would have live camera views from each school. “There is a lot of technology being installed in a very short period of time,” said Sen. Kissel, who indicated that other towns throughout the state are facing similar problems. “Keep in mind that in that time frame you have to hire designers and contractors, so to be able to get this extension will ensure that everything gets completed.”

According to Sen. Kissel, the town was looking for a 60 day extension but was granted an extra four months on top of that. “DEMHS was very reasonable. “They recognize the efforts that the town and the Board of Education are making to get this project done. I am very grateful that they have agreed to extend this deadline and with it will give the town the opportunity to finalize this very important school security initiative,” said Sen. Kissel.