Fort Worth Voters Decide on School Surveillance Systems
- By Paul McCloskey
Fort Worth voters approved a bond package last week that includes $7.3 million to install video surveillance systems throughout the school district. Another $29 million of the $593.6 million school renovation bond would go toward a range of security and fire safety projects to bring every campus up to current building codes.
School administrators are pulled for program after seeing the results of a test of the surveillance system during the last year. "The number of break ins has gone to zero," Harold Alexander, an assistant principal at the school, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Using a $50,000 federal grant and equal matching funds from the district, Fort Worth's South Hills High School last November installed 80 high-resolution video cameras capable of making out a student's expression or identifying a license plate from hundreds of yards.
Since January 2006 the district has had almost $500,000 worth of mostly high-tech equipment stolen from its campuses, according to Cecelia Speer, the school district's assistant superintendent for safety, security and operations.
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Paul McCloskey is contributing editor of Syllabus.