Lower Makefield receives grant to strengthen school security

U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick recently presented the $60,975 federal grant

The Times

The lineup: Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick joins Bucks County Sheriff Milt Warrell, Lower Makefield Police Chief Ken Coluzzi, Pennsbury Superintendent Dr. William Gretzula and Pennsbury Director of Pupil Services Elizabeth Aldridge for the grant presentation.

U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick presented a $60,975 federal grant to Lower Makefield Township for the purposes of bolstering school security, educate students and faculty on school safety, and support law enforcement officers and first responders on school safety.

Fitzpatrick, joined by Bucks County Sheriff Milt Warrell, presented the grant to Lower Makefield Police Chief Ken Coluzzi, Pennsbury School District Superintendent William Gretzula, Pennsbury Director of Pupil Services Elizabeth Aldridge and Lower Makefield police officers.

“We must respond to the senseless violence occurring in our children’s schools. After meeting with concerned students, parents and teachers, all options must be on the table to keep our kids safe. We must address this problem from all pressure points, to include the legislative component, the mental health component and the school safety component,” Fitzpatrick said. “Today’s grant is one way to make our schools safer. By delivering much-needed federal support, students, teachers and law enforcement officers will have the resources to recognize and respond quickly to warning signs.”

Lower Makefield Township is one of only two municipalities in Pennsylvania that received grant funds from the 2018 COPS School Violence Prevention Program (The city of Erie received the other grant). This year, the program provided $70 million in grants directly to states and local governments to improve security at schools and on school grounds through evidence-based school safety programs.

These grants are a result of the Fitzpatrick-backed STOP School Violence Act, which became law earlier this year. Administered by the Department of Justice, the first round of grants will give students, teachers, school personnel and local law enforcement the tools to identify and intervene when potential safety risks are present. They incentivize the creations of anonymous reporting systems and implement school threat assessment protocols to curb school violence. ••