Schools consider using video surveillance

St. Charles Parish Schools could soon be equipping all campuses and essential offices with video camera surveillance that could be monitored over the internet.

Assistant Superintendent Larry Sesser presented a rough estimate of cost figures for setting up each school in the district with video surveillance at the July 2 board committee meetings.

Projected costs for the camera setups would run the school board $239,500 Sesser said, a cost well worth the additional security it could provide.

“This still won’t take the place of locks and good supervision, but it is one of the tools that is becoming more and more accepted as an act of monitoring and controlling situations in general,” Sesser said.

Superintendent Rodney Lafon said the idea could improve safety throughout the school system if done correctly but he wants to make sure the school board hire the right people for the job.

“I’d like to bring in two or three consultants…and get somebody to look at where they might be placed in each particular facility that’s in the best interest of safety for everybody,” Lafon said. “If we’re going to do it, this board always does it the right way.”

School Board president Sonny Savoie mentioned that the schools are currently equipped with motion sensors that detect unauthorized entry, but cameras could provide an extra security asset.

Typically the cameras are meant to be a deterrent after hours but Lafon said there’s no reason the cameras won’t earn their money during both daytime and nighttime hours.

“In the daytime, these cameras placed in the right area could be very important to the children’s safety,” Lafon said.


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