McHenry County College is one of 448 elementary, secondary and higher education institutions to receive grant awards totaling $25 million, as announced by Governor Pat Quinn. The grants will support 1,312 projects at schools throughout the state.
“Nothing is more important in Illinois than keeping our schools safe,” Gov. Quinn said in a press release. “These projects will strengthen security at main entry points, providing school personnel with critical moments to alert law enforcement, activate plans to protect students and save lives.”
According to Michael Clesceri, executive director of Public Safety and Facilities at MCC, the College’s existing camera system purchased in 2008 through another state grant, is outdated and overloaded and a new system will enhance emergency response during a major incident.
“The grant is timely because we were looking to upgrade our camera system,” Clesceri said. “Colleges have been a target of active shooters in the past. A new surveillance platform allows us to have remote access to track a suspect’s movements, which will assist in our response and better serve the college community.”
MCC was one of the few schools to receive the full amount requested. Out of 623 applicants, 72 percent received 46 percent of the funds requested. Clesceri attributes MCC’s ability to receive full funding to clearly articulating the College’s needs and having a good track record of maintaining its own system within the College’s Information Technology Department.
“Anytime we can save taxpayers’ money, that’s a great thing,” Clesceri said. “The grant allows us to free up deferred maintenance funding to be spent on other projects within the College.”
College officials plan to have a new camera system installed during Fall 2014 Semester.