Grow lights seized by police from an illegal marijuana operation are finding a new purpose at New London High School.
In the past two years, Chef Tomm Johnson has grown the school’s culinary arts program.
“In our school we grow shrimp, we grow trout, we grow tilapia,” Cheff Tomm said, pointing to fish tank. “I wish I had this while I was in high school”
Chef Tomm says he knows the school doesn’t have the money to buy expensive, top-notch grow lights.
“I was talking to our SRO officer, Officer Bertsch, and said, well you know any ideas how we can get some lights?” Chef Tomm said.
That is when New London Police got the idea to reach out to the State Police Narcotics Task Force, which often confiscated industrial lights from illegal drug operations.
“They went to the New London County prosecutor’s office and went through the paperwork and were able to get the equipment signed over to New London High School,” Detective Sgt. Lawrence Keating said, “instead of ending up in a dumpster.”
Students enrolled in the Science and Technology Magnet High School of Southeastern Connecticut collaborate with New London H.S.’s culinary program. Now, they too will be able to grow more crops in the winter.
“It’s going to absolutely facilitate the productivity in here once the light is gone,” Environmental Science and Oceanography Instructor Chuck Mulligan said.
So far, the high scools have received six of the seized grow lights. The goal is for police to donate even more to expand the culinary and agriculture programs into the middle and elementary schools.
“By the time they get up here they’ll be farming geniuses,” Chef Tomm said.
Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com