RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A dozen elementary schools in the City of Richmond and Henrico County will be receiving around $250,000 for new security equipment and upgrades, thanks to a state grant program.

The Virginia Department of Education announced this week that 431 schools throughout Central Virginia would be receiving a total of $12 million in School Security Equipment Grants.

These grants will pay for security enhancements meant to protect students, faculty and visitors throughout the school environment. Possible enhancements include voice and video internal communication systems, mass notification systems, security card access systems, visitor ID badging systems, surveillance cameras, two-way radios, security vestibules, interior school bus cameras and two-way radios for buses.

Several elementary schools in the Richmond area will be receiving just over $250,000 through these grants, with the City of Richmond receiving $204,480 and Henrico County receiving $49,134. The following schools will benefit from these grants:

  • Barack Obama Elementary in Richmond
  • Chimborazo Elementary in Richmond
  • Miles Jones Elementary in Richmond
  • Swansboro Elementary in Richmond
  • Chamberlayne Elementary in Henrico County
  • Charles M. Johnson Elementary in Henrico County
  • Crestview Elementary in Henrico County
  • Glen Lea Elementary in Henrico County
  • Pinchbeck Elementary in Henrico County
  • R.C. Longan Elementary in Henrico County
  • Seven Pines Elementary in Henrico County
  • Skipwith Elementary in Henrico County

The School Security Equipment Grants program was established in 2013 in the aftermath of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. According to Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow, these grants are meant to make schools more secure and help faculty and staff respond quickly to emergencies.

“Every student and every teacher should feel safe in their classrooms, during school activities and when traveling to and from school,” Balow said. “In many cases, the equipment purchased addresses vulnerabilities identified in annual school security audits.”

The grant system gives priority to schools most in need of modern security equipment, schools with relatively high numbers of offenses, schools with equipment needs identified by a school security audit, and schools in divisions least able to afford security upgrades.