With campus safety among the top priorities of the Long Beach Unified School District, a new $2.3 million security system is being installed through Measure K funding.
The system provides high quality video monitoring throughout high school campuses, and offers operators in a central dispatch location the ability to monitor activities 24 hours a day.
The system was piloted at Wilson Classical High School last spring and has been installed at Cabrillo, EPHS, Reid, Sato and Beach high schools.
Other schools being linked to the system are Millikan, Lakewood, Polytechnic, PAAL, McBride, Nelson, the Butler site and Jordan Plus. Renaissance and Browning high schools will join the system as construction is completed on these campuses.
“We are thrilled to have the new system,” said Sandy Blazer, principal at Wilson High School. “It gives us more eyes on campus and facilitates supervision.”
The deterrent effect is one of the key advantages of the security cameras, according to Tom Hickman, LBUSD’s chief of School Safety and Emergency Preparedness.
“The cameras are giving administration the ability to better monitor activities,” he said.
With each set of cameras customized to the layout and needs of each campus, the system is already changing the culture and climate at some schools for the better, said Hickman. “We no longer have blind spots and are able to monitor nearly all outside areas.”
The system is being installed by the Measure K technology team, which had to first upgrade the district’s network to increase the bandwidth and speed to accommodate high definition video.
It is now possible to reprogram the system from one central location, and a redundant monitoring module ensures that the system will continue to function even in an emergency or disaster.
Other safety and technology improvements, such as new clocks, bells and intercom systems are also part of Measure K plans. However, more than $3 billion in needed upgrades throughout the district will not be covered by available funds and will require another bond or other funding source to be completed.