Colonial School District is being awarded some federal money for security cameras.
The federal Department of Justice (DOJ) is giving Colonial almost $400,000 over the next two years to install cameras at all eight of its elementary schools, Colwyck preschool and the John G. Leach School for severely disabled students.
The state’s second largest district is matching about a quarter of the grant with roughly $120,000.
Colonial’s School Safety and Security Officer John Barr applied for the grant.
“We tend to think that we need surveillance, we need cameras with our older population, with our middle schools and high schools. But what we’re finding in looking at statistical data—looking at data that’s out there—all schools [need cameras] from a deterrent standpoint—camera systems deter a lot of activity and it also helps with liability issues,” said Barr.
Barr adds the grant money will allow for cameras on the interior and exterior of the schools.
“That will allow our administrators, our principals and some of our key staff to monitor what’s going in and around our schools to help monitor situations and hopefully deter some extra-risk behavior,” said Barr.
Barr says there are many schools in the state still without security cameras.
Colonial was also awarded more than $370,000 in state funds for school security this fiscal year.
Barr says some of that money was earmarked for cameras but has been freed up and will go towards securing vestibules in all district schools so visitors have to be buzzed in.