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Police say grants will make Martinsburg schools safer

February 22, 2000|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The Martinsburg Police Department will use part of a $13,528 federal grant to put additional cameras at Martinsburg High School and implement such security measures as panic buttons at the city courtroom, Cpl. Charles Ellis said.

The police department has also received a second federal grant, for $13,901, which will be used to increase foot and bicycle patrols at the high school and at two middle schools, Ellis said.

Additionally, the money will help pay overtime for patrols of high-crime areas and will allow the department to buy equipment for its Special Response Team, he said.

Martinsburg High School plans to add eight or nine security cameras to the 16 it already has, Principal Rick Deuell said.

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The school bought its first camera almost four years ago and pointed it at the back parking lot, he said. Now, three are trained on the outside of the high school, and the other 13 cover the inside. There are five monitors on which administrators can watch images from the cameras, which run 24 hours a day.

Deuell said the current cameras will be upgraded, from black and white to color, and the resolution will be improved.

The second grant will go toward scheduled police patrols at the schools.

Ellis said officers are presently encouraged to be at the schools, and they stop in whenever they can.

The grants are from the United States Department of Justice. Each includes 10 percent in matching funds from the city.

The police department is required to hold two public meetings to discuss the grants.

The meeting on the bicycle and walking patrols will be held Thursday at 7 p.m. The security measures grant will be discussed March 1 at 7 p.m. Both meetings will be at the City Hall Council Chambers on the second floor.

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