By Jesse Buchanan
School security grants from an auto dealer in New Britain will fund cameras, radios and other school security measures in that city as well as surrounding towns.
Schaller Auto World Fund, administered by the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain, provided $2,500 to each high school in New Britain, Southington, Plainville and Berlin.
Southington superintendent Tim Connellan said the grant will be used to buy more two-way radios for use at the high school. The size of the building makes such radios useful.
“Those really extend our ability to communicate in that building,” Connellan said.
The radios are about $600 each and the grant will fund the purchase of four.
“That’s a marvelous thing the Schallers did,” Connellan said. “We’re very appreciative of that.”
Kaylah Smith, Community Foundation assistant development director, said Art Schaller wanted to provide security upgrades to local schools but wanted school leaders to determine what was most needed.
“He was really moved by the Parkland shootings,” Smith said.
In Berlin, the funds will help update the school’s camera system and buy a visitor management system that scans driver licenses and can compare them to sex offender registries nationwide. The system also prints ID badges for high school guests.
Plainville High School will buy cameras to eliminate blind spots in their camera coverage. The new cameras will also have better quality than the existing cameras.
The funds will help New Britain fund e-licenses for a violent incident training program from ALICE Training Institute. The school plans to extend the training it already gives teachers and students to bus drivers, cafeteria workers and paraprofessionals with the grant money.