Indiana allocated more than $19 million to school safety in matching grant funds, marking the largest ever single-year investment in safety initiatives at Hoosier schools.

The awards allows the Board of School Safety Grant Program to partially or fully fund all top-priority projects identified by 429 schools in their applications to the Secured Schools Board, according to a news release.

The Benton Community Schools will be using their grant money to fund the School Resource Officer, Benton Superintendent Gregg Hoover said, and Ralph Schrader, superintendent of the MSD of Warren County, explained that the money will fund the position of Brennan Hutchinson, who is the school resource officer from the Warren County Sheriff’s Department.

Every school that applied for the fiscal year 2020 funds has received notifications that their top priority requests were fully funded for all eligible items. With the matching funds required by the schools, more than $35 million will be invested in school safety this year in Indiana.

“Indiana remains fully committed to ensuring the safety of our schools,” said Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, in the news release. “I’m proud this critical grant can meet the top safety needs of school districts across the state. This is the latest evolution of how our state partners with local schools to address this issue and help parents, students, and staff feel safe and secure every day.”

The School Safety Grant is administered by Indiana Department of Homeland Security. The director of the Secured Schools Board, Rusty Goodpaster said, “Schools were asked to identify their top priority in their district, and the board approved matching grants for all of those eligible projects.”

Eligible projects for the grants include funding for school resource officers, and law enforcement officers in schools, equipment and technology; active warning systems, firearms training for staff and teachers.