CAÑON CITY — A grant worth $514,000 provided by the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management will fund more security cameras, and more security gear like two-way radios in the hands of 225 additional staff members.
Garrett Olguin is the principal of Lincoln School of Science and Technology.
He and many others working for the district are excited to kick off the school year.
"I'm ready to get the school year started and get kids back in the building," he said.
But before kids come back, major security upgrades will be put in place.
"We have a lot of positive change coming," he said.
First, more than 200 two-way radios will be added equip teachers and staff members.
Second, more surveillance cameras will be installed on school campuses, and other older ones will be replaced.
"Part of it is to help when we're investigating issues," Olguin explained.
"But it also helps for people to know that there's just a presence of cameras, to know that there is accountability."
And the accountability applies to people off school property, too.
Each school bus is getting stop-arm cameras to track nearby drivers.
"Cameras on the buses are extremely important so that our bus drivers can focus on the unloading and loading the kids safely, and not feel like they have to be focused on the traffic on the highway."
"These newly installed cameras have a wide angle lens that can capture a license plate from more than 20 feet away, and they'll be on and recording while the bus is being driven."
The hope is to deter bad behavior, but be prepared for it if it happens.
"It can help prevent but also helps respond. So something may happen and if we have high quality cameras, and we can go back and view those, then we can pursue it as we need to."
This state grant is also helping fund the purchase of more protective gear for security guards, and the district is aiming to have all these changes ready to go by the time school starts on August 19.