School safety grant funding cut in new Indiana budget

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A state grant program aimed at helping Indiana schools hire police officers and buy safety equipment has less than half the amount of money to give out than when it was started two years ago.

The new state budget that took effect in July dedicates $7 million toward the program, down from the $20 million it was given following the deadly 2012 shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.

Indiana Department of Homeland Security spokesman John Erickson tells The Journal Gazette that it could be more difficult to give grants for equipment such as surveillance cameras and fortified doors.

Republican Gov. Mike Pence’s budget director says less money was requested because officials believe that one-time equipment needs have been covered and the focus should now be on school resource officers.

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