WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — The Warwick School Department is creating a new position aimed at keeping kids safe at school, thanks to a new $358,000 federal grant.
Dan Maggiacomo is set to become the district’s new school safety chief, officials said. He retired in September after 20 years with the Warwick Police Department.
School officials said that the overall goal of the safety coordinator is to promote a “safe, orderly, and caring school environment.”
Maggiacomo, according to a news release, will plan programs to reduce school violence and train staff. He will also oversee emergency response protocols and coordination.
With the police department, Maggiacomo ran the citizen police academy and also trained the Warwick Boys and Girls Club in security procedures. He told the Beacon that when he retired, he felt those positions have prepared him for his next phase of serving and protecting.
“I was so happy,” Superintendent of Warwick public Schools Lynn Dambruch said. “It’s a grant that’s going to secure our buildings, keep students safe, keep staff safe.”
The announcement comes as the Department of Homeland Security is in the middle of a three-day virtual summit on school safety and security.
“Every child, every person in this country, and around the world frankly, deserves a safe, secure, supportive environment in which to be educated,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said.
“I want every student, parent, and staff member who walks into a school building to be safe and feel welcome in a healthy, nurturing school environment that is free from violence and has an effective safety plan in place,” said Sen. Jack Reed, who helped secure the funding through a 2018 school safety law.
The grant will fund the new position for three years and the district is responsible for matching 25% of the cost of the program.