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WSD3 schools receive $1.1 M grant for safety


Last updated 7/13/2022 at 1:47pm | View PDF

Sam Briggs, APR, WSD3 Director of Communication

WSD3 Director of Safety and Security Chad Haynes holds one of the district's radios. A new $1.1-million grant will help fund new equipment.

Widefield School District 3 has been awarded a $1.1-million state grant to increase security and emergency response measures in local schools.

"The SAFER grant is helping to improve our communication between first responders and school personnel," WSD3 Communication Director Sam Briggs said. "The grant includes the purchase of communication hardware, software, and extensive training over the six-year grant period. The hardware includes two-way radios and tech towers at every school site."

WSD3 will use these radios for medical emergencies, disruptive or behavioral situations that require additional assistance, and for situations that fit under the district's Standard Response Protocol (secure, lockdown, evacuate, shelter in place, hold), Briggs said.

The School Access for Emergency Response program (SAFER) grant is through the Colorado Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management. It was enacted by SB18-158 and provides funding for interoperable communication hardware, software, equipment maintenance and training to allow for seamless communications between existing school communications systems and first responder communications systems.

Grant recipients may use the money received through the grant program to deliver training programs to teach effective communications with first responders in an emergency, to implement an interoperable technology solution to provide or upgrade a system for effective communication with first responders in an emergency, to maintain, improve, or provide interoperable communications hardware or software and for any necessary radio system capacity expansions where school loading has been determined to have a significant impact on public safety system loading.

The state of Colorado Legislature allocated $4,859,788.00 for the SAFER grant program. Seven school districts and two boards of cooperative educational services (BOCES) were selected to receive funding in this round. Widefield had the largest allocation in this group.

Everyone is eligible to apply again next year.  

Recipient Selection

Elizabeth School District: $503,516

27J Schools: $144,094

Northeast Colorado BOCES: $854,882

Pueblo County District 70: $1,098,837

Weld County School District 6: $154,958

Alamosa School District: $389,188

Widefield School District 3: $1,113,172

Moffat Consolidated School District #2: $249,700 

San Juan BOCES: $351,441


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