October 4, 2018 - U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly announced today that, with his support, the Fort Wayne Police Department (FWPD) and Fort Wayne Community Schools (FWCS) have been awarded grant funding from the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. The $301,165 award will allow FWCS and FWPD to replace analog video cameras at schools – many of which are failing despite maintenance and repair – with a new camera system that will provide a superior field of view, visual clarity, and the capability to remotely view a scene in real time. Donnelly wrote a letter to the Department of Justice supporting Fort Wayne's request.

Donnelly said, “I was proud to support Fort Wayne’s effort to increase school safety because no student should feel unsafe while at school. With this grant, schools will be equipped with new cameras – increasing safety for students and staff.”

Tom Henry, Mayor of Fort Wayne, said, “The City of Fort Wayne and the Fort Wayne Police Department are appreciative of Senator Donnelly’s leadership in helping secure this important grant for our community. Public safety is critical to the quality of life we enjoy in Fort Wayne. Having schools and law enforcement working together to help ensure students are as safe as possible can have a lasting and meaningful impact.”

Dottie Davis, FWCS Director of Security, said, "Fort Wayne Community Schools is eager to move forward, thanks to the COPS grant, with installing internet protocol cameras at six elementary schools and three middle schools that otherwise would not have this security feature until 2021. Having this improved camera system means in the event of a crisis, we will be able to provide critical information by immediately sharing access to the system with the Fort Wayne Police Department. We are fortunate to have a strong collaborative partnership with our local law enforcement and a willingness on both sides to share information to keep our schools safe."

Funding for the grant was authorized by the bipartisan STOP School Violence Act, which provides grants to state and local governments for increased school safety measures, including security and violence prevention trainings, equipment and technology, and increased coordination with law enforcement. The STOP School Violence Act, which Donnelly supported, was signed into law as part of a larger government funding bill in March.

For information on how Senator Donnelly’s office can assist cities, municipalities, and groups applying for federal grants, please visit https://www.donnelly.senate.gov/help/grants.