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Cameras installed at NCMS

Sunday, March 23, 2008

A new monitor in the entryway of the North Clay Middle School shows visitors they are being watched when they enter the building. [Click to enlarge]
New technological steps for improving safety and security within the Clay Community School Corporation have been taken.

In the past two weeks, 16 cameras along with monitors and DVR systems have been installed in North Clay Middle School and Northview High School.

The cameras were installed in areas of the buildings that are difficult to monitor by staff, according to North Clay Principal Jeff Allen.

Sets of four cameras and corresponding monitors and recorders are installed in the D and E hallways of North Clay, along with a set at the front entrance of the building.

These areas do not have any classrooms, and are often used for extracurricular activities.

Cameras in the front hallway give the secretaries in the office a better view of who is entering the building.

The monitors are set up within students' view to remind them they are being recorded and to deter improper behavior.

Allen said the initial reaction from students has been "curiosity" and "interest in seeing themselves on monitors."

The cameras are on a motion sensor, which saves DVR room, and are positioned to give a "360 degree" view of the area.

Allen said, if suspicious activity is presumed, the administrators could pull up the recordings and transfer them onto computers to review.

Several cameras are targeted toward the entrance of restrooms in North Clay. This is an effort to curb the number of bomb threats scrawled on the walls.

The school had to be evacuated several times this school year because of written threats in restrooms.

The corporation hopes to continue putting cameras and monitors around the school, and adapt the system for the elementary schools as part of the renovation project.

Director of Buildings and Grounds Tom Reberger said the equipment cost nearly $8,000, but the corporation saved money by having the in-house maintenance staff install everything.

Reberger said the corporation did not want to wait until summer to begin the security upgrades.

The four cameras installed in Northview High School are an addition to the video security system already in place.

"Safety and security are extremely important to us, and this is a proactive and preventative measure that I think will be a great deterrent," Allen said.

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