Wiring of New School Surveillance System Underway

Wiring of New School Security System Underway
Eastridge Cafe

October 15, 2015 -- The initial stage of wiring all Amarillo ISD schools with a sophisticated new security system is underway. The $99 million bond approved by taxpayers in 2013 included the $4 million cost of the system to replace the district’s aging analog cameras. 

The new digital system will offer improved clarity and coverage, more than doubling the number of cameras operating district-wide. The system will plug into the network that already houses the district’s phone and data system. “It’s just a way we can be more economical by having a single system to do everything, which is a great return on your investment,” AISD Chief Technology Officer Jeff Roller explained. Additionally, the system is more flexible than what is currently in place, allowing the district to add additional cameras when needed or replace cameras on an as-needed basis in the future.

The 2,100 cameras included in the installation have infrared and motion detection capabilities, an analytics system, and can self-adjust to stabilize during windy weather or compensate to eliminate lens flares during sunrise or sunset. Windsor Elementary Principal Bobby Payne, a member of the committee which vetted the new system, said it is a game changer. “With the current cameras, we might have coverage, but the quality isn’t there. You might have the shot and maybe a decent profile of someone, but you couldn’t always get to the details. In a specific situation where you need to know who this person is in a crowd, you’re going to be able to see that now.”

Administrators report the most impressive feature of the new system is the heightened level of safety for students and staff.  “Our children’s safety is our first concern. This new video system allows us to have better insight to what’s happening on campus, both internally and externally, and provide for a safer environment for those students to learn,” said Roller.

Installation is expected to be complete by the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year, ahead of schedule and under budget.

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