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Schools get federal grants to improve security, safety

Two area schools will soon be getting cameras and other security equipment, thanks to a Secure Our School (SOS) grant.

Douglas County Sheriff Troy Wolbersen asked for approval of the grant at last week's Douglas County Board meeting. The grant was approved.

Seven Minnesota entities, including Douglas County, were awarded funds through federal grants to protect children in schools.

The U.S. Department of Justice, through the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office, recently announced that $15.9 million in grants have been awarded to law enforcement agencies and other municipalities in 40 states and Puerto Rico under the SOS program.

Wolbersen explained that Douglas County received $20,595 and that the grant would be matched by the two school districts benefitting from it - Brandon and Osakis. The school districts will match the grant for a total of $41,190.

The money is earmarked for the cost of purchasing and installing school metal detectors, locks, lights, fences, closed-circuit surveillance systems or other school safety equipment, according to the Department of Justice, which awarded the money to the different entities.

The SOS program also funds security assessments and security training as well as other measures that may provide significant improvements in school safety.