Photo courtesy of Norfolk District Attorney's office
Braintree Public Schools will replace four video security cameras at Braintree High School thanks partially to a grant from the Norfolk District Attorney’s office.
The $3,000 grant will be coupled with $3,000 from Braintree’s rental income account to purchase the cameras, which will be placed at the front and back entrance to the high school.
The grant “is certainly very helpful. The cameras were first put in shortly after Columbine. They are due for replacement and upgrading, and that’s what we plan to use the money for,” said Superintendent Dr. Peter Kurzberg. “All of our schools have similar equipment. The entire system was done at that time as well. So we’re beginning a plan where we will begin to place all the existing cameras in the other facilities as well.”
District Attorney Michael Morrissey handed Braintree school officials the check during a school committee meeting on June 11.
Braintree was one of eight schools that received funding from the DA’s office, which awarded school safety grants last fall as part of an effort to improve the safety of students countywide.
The district had applied for the funding last August, when the District Attorney wrote all of the superintendents in Norfolk County to ask them to apply for grants for up to $3,000.
Grants could be for any capital improvements that would make their students safer or their facilities more secure, a release said.
According to the release, priority was given to matching fund grants, but communities could also option for direct grants of up to $3,000 if they could not match the amount.
Besides Braintree, Medfield Public Schools, Quincy Pubic Schools, Wrentham Public Schools, Weymouth Public Schools, Norfolk County Agricultural School in Walpole, and Blue Hills Regional Technical School in Canton each received $3,000.
“This is all money confiscated from drug dealers and organized crime,” Morrissey said. “Now, money that was being used to finance the criminal activities that make our communities less safe and secure is being re-directed to make them more secure.”
Some communities will be more impacted than others, such as in Weymouth. There, vandals caused more than $83,000 in damage last summer at Chapman Middle School, which had no intruder detection system.
Although that school now has an alarm, the grant will help fund an alarm system for the Abigail Adams Middle School, the only school in the district without an alarm system in place.
Overall, the method of taking drug money and using it to build safety sends a positive message, Morrissey said.
“Drugs and violence are robbing our communities of resources and robbing our young people of the future they deserve,” he said. “I like the principle of taking money forfeited by drug dealers and using it to make those young people and their schools safer.”
Braintree’s cameras will be installed sometime this summer.