As the 2017-18 school year gets underway, many school districts are testing out newly installed and upgraded security systems. Due to decreasing surveillance camera costs and improvements in system capabilities, school security leaders are finding additional value in upgrades and new installations, from faster response to more satisfied staff to real budget savings.
Kevin Wren, Director of Risk, Security and Emergency Management for Rock Hill School District in South Carolina, used some of the funds from a $110 million bond referendum for a major security upgrade for the district, which is located 20 miles south of Charlotte, North Carolina, and serves approximately 18,000 students. In addition to access control and intercom upgrades, some of the security funding was used to evaluate the video surveillance system and both double the number of cameras in the district and move to an open platform. Wren and his team also set district-wide standards for where cameras should be installed, which helped them evaluate which schools and facilities needed them most.