Miami University to receive some of $5 million in state grants for improving campus security

Miami University will soon be receiving a portion of $5 million in new state grants - being distributed to 27 colleges and universities in Ohio - to fund security improvements on campus. Miami officials said the application of the new funding is still to be worked out but in general will go to enhancing computer forensics, video body cameras for campus police and improved security doors at Miami University Police headquarters in Oxford.  (File Photo\Journal-News)
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Miami University will soon be receiving a portion of $5 million in new state grants - being distributed to 27 colleges and universities in Ohio - to fund security improvements on campus. Miami officials said the application of the new funding is still to be worked out but in general will go to enhancing computer forensics, video body cameras for campus police and improved security doors at Miami University Police headquarters in Oxford. (File Photo\Journal-News)

University officials working out details of where new funds will be applied, but some areas have been identified.

Miami University is getting financial help from the state to bolster security and its campuses.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine recently announced the university will receive some of $5 million — distributed to 27 institutions of higher education — in state “campus safety grants” to fund upgraded security measures.

Miami will receive $120,095 in funding, according to a statement released by DeWine.

“The commitment to school safety is one that I take seriously,” DeWine said in a released statement. “By awarding these grants, campuses can go beyond identifying areas that need to be improved by developing and executing plans that promote the wellbeing of staff and students.”

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In southwest Ohio, the University of Cincinnati received $430,000 — the largest grant among higher education schools in the state — and Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, which has an office-tower, branch campus in downtown Middletown, will get $162,500.

Ohio Department of Higher Education Chancellor Randy Gardner said the grants are “important as we begin a new school year to provide this opportunity to enhance security and make our campuses even safer for students, staff, and families.”

Ohio Department of Public Safety Director Tom Stickrath said: “The safety and security upgrades will assist campus law enforcement agencies and area first responders better prepare for and respond quicker to emergencies.”

Miami officials said the details of where the new funds will be applied are still being worked out but some security areas designated to receive money have been identified.

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“Miami University is grateful for the funding awarded to us by the Campus Safety Grant,” said Miami Spokeswoman Jessica Revinius.

“We will be using the funds to maintain and upgrade equipment for our computer forensics program, video for our body cameras, and physical access controls to our police department. We will be working with the state of Ohio and the Department of Higher Education to finalize the details of the award,” said Revinius.

To be eligible for grant funding, schools conducted a security and vulnerability assessment to identify potential areas for improvement. Eligible expenses include but are not limited to improved lighting in parking lots, security cameras at building entrances, and secure doors, said state officials.

DeWine created the Ohio School Safety Center in 2019. It is housed in the Ohio Homeland Security Division of the Ohio Department of Public Safety and works to assist local schools, colleges and universities, and law enforcement agencies to prevent, prepare for, and respond to threats and acts of violence, including self-harm, through a holistic, solutions-based approach to improving school safety.

Miami is Butler County’s largest employer and enrolls more than 20,000 students with most at the school’s main Oxford campus. The university also has two regional schools in Hamilton and Middletown as well as a Learning Center in West Chester Twp.

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