Schools beef up video surveillance

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. - A number of public schools in Michigan are installing new or additional security cameras, according to newspaper reports in Calhoun County, Bay County and Saginaw.

Six public school districts in Calhoun County will install video systems to monitor school buildings and grounds, paid for with about $500,000 in grant funding through the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, according to The Battle Creek Enquirer.

In Saginaw Township, the board of education approved plans to add 83 digital cameras at Heritage High School, covering every exit and entrance as well as the football stadium and bleachers, at a cost of $88,000, The Saginaw News reported. The system will record and store footage for 30 days.

School board member Barbara Russell said that the equipment should cut down on the number of scuffles, food fights and other disturbances, the article said.

In Bay County, the Bangor Township School District installed 16 cameras in John Glenn High School and the Essexville-Hampton district upgraded its system by adding hallway cameras in one high school as well as placing cameras in elementary buildings, according to The Bay City Times.

"It's unfortunate that we live in a day and age when there's vandalism and things like that. We just want to protect our facilities," Essexville Superintendent John Mertz told The Times.

The Battle Creek Enquirer, "Local schools get security cameras," Oct. 17, 2008

The Saginaw News, "Heritage beefing up video surveillance," Oct. 28, 2008

The Bay City Times, "Local schools install security cameras to monitor student and staff safety," Aug. 26, 2008

Michigan Education Digest, "Wayne-Westland schools get security upgrade," Nov. 13, 2007