Baker unveils plan to invest millions in school safety programs

BOSTON (WHDH) – Governor Charlie Baker announced Thursday morning the state will invest nearly $40 million into programs to ensure statewide school safety ahead of the new school year.

The money will go into various school safety programs including additional police active shooter training, a statewide awareness campaign and a tip line.

“Highlights of this proposal include matching grants for security, communication upgrades in K-12 schools and public higher education institutions,” said Baker.

Increased funding to assure safety at schools comes just months after the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, where video shows officers waited more than an hour before entering a classroom to kill the gunman.

“I think everybody in Massachusetts and the law enforcement community was shocked by the way that was handled,” said Baker.

Municipal Police Training Committee Chief Bob Ferullo said the guidelines are clear for Massachusetts officers.

“We’ve been doing response [training] since Columbine,” Ferullo said. “We tweak it every time something goes wrong but the Massachusetts police officers are trained to respond, evaluate and go in.”

Officials are making it a top priority to keep children safe in school.

“No child should fear going to school in the morning or feel uncertain how safe their building or their classroom is,” said Baker.

Baker said he is working to ensure everyone including kids, staff, teachers and parents feel safe as they begin to return to school.

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