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Director of Upshur County Schools Safety and Emergency Preparedness Dr. Jeffery Harvey / File photo

County approves partnering with BOE on application for grant that would pay for surveillance cameras on school buses

BUCKHANNON – The Upshur County Commission on Thursday gave the greenlight to applying for a grant on behalf of the Upshur County Board of Education that would upgrade the Upshur County Schools’ Transportation Department surveillance system.

Schools Director of School Safety and Emergency Preparedness Dr. Jeffery Harvey attended the June 17 Upshur County Commission meeting to discuss the fiscal year 2022 Community Oriented Policing Services, or COPS, School Violence Prevention Program application. The commission, as a county governmental entity, is partnering with the Upshur BOE on the grant application as its sponsor.

“It’s the same program that we’ve applied for, in a roundabout way, for the past four years,” Harvey explained. “So, in 2018, Upshur County was the sponsor for a joint project with Lewis County for surveillance cameras in all schools in both counties. In 2019, Lewis County was the lead in a joint project for some upgrades to exterior door monitoring technology and then for 2020, the Upshur County School Board got a COPS grant for some notification system upgrades.”

He said Upshur County would be the only recipient of the grant in their application, and they are hoping to bring the bus garage in line with the rest of the video surveillance system.

“It will also install 26 mobile surveillance systems on 26 buses to upgrade the technology there,” Harvey said. “That’ll bring the fleet up to a standard, and all of these things contributed back to monitoring certain behavioral offenses, being able to quickly identify those and address those.”

“We’ve seen in the buildings that our surveillance system has contributed to a safer environment, and we’re hoping to extend that to the buses,” Harvey added.

Harvey said each of the 26 buses will have three cameras installed, one in the front and one on each side of the aisle. If the Upshur County Board of Education/Upshur County Schools receives the grant, they will be awarded $107,518.

In other Upshur County Commission news:

  • The commission approved employment of additional Buckhannon-Upshur Recreational Park Staff, effective June 20, 2021, filling any vacancies left.
  • The commission approved a request from Lori Ulderich Harvey, executive director of the Upshur County Family Resource Network, requesting use of the large pavilion for Family Connections Family Socials, once a month during June, July, August and September free of charge.
  • The commission approved a request from Patricia L. Adams, chairman of the Upshur County Republican Executive Committee, requesting use of the Upshur County Courthouse Plaza on Monday, June 21 to celebrate West Virginia’s Birthday. Ms. Adams is also requesting that the Committee be provided the use of two tables and 10 chairs. A certificate of liability insurance naming the Commission as a certificate holder will be provided prior to the event.

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