STAMFORD — Thanks to a $500,000 grant administered by the U.S. Department of Justice, Stamford will be able to bolster school security with new cameras and a visitor management system that will track and screen those entering the city schools.

The federal money is part of a $32.5 million package awarded to about 100 school districts throughout the United States from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), according to the DOJ.

Public Safety Director Ted Jankowski, who met with COPS along with the city’s lobbyist from the law firm Holland & Knight, said the money will be spent on technology advances such as cameras and a visitor management system that will help track and screen everyone entering city schools.

After vulnerability assessments established facility safety and security needs across all of Stamford Public Schools, the city developed a plan to address the issues, Jankowski said.

“The management action plan identified several areas including an improved visitor management system, improved CCTV and improved communication upgrades, which will be addressed by the grant,” said Jankowski, who added that Stamford was the only municipality in the state to receive a grant from COPS’s School Violence Prevention Program.

The two-year $499,717 grant will be matched by a $325,278 local contribution, Jankowski said.

“Parents should know that grants like this one will make our schools even safer and help us create an environment that promotes social and creative learning,” Mayor David Martin said in a statement.

In an effort to gain more federal funding for the city, Stamford officials met with representatives from several federal agencies including COPS, the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and the Economic Development Administration. They also plan to discuss Federal Emergency Management Agency grant money for equipment used by firefighters and a Water Resources Development Act grant that would allow funding for repairs on Stamford’s hurricane barrier storm wall.

jnickerson@stamfordadvocate.com