New Technologies Useful to School District Surveillance

Schools have been the sites of the worst mass shootings in history. It makes sense to increase security for the safety and security of everyone on campus. That’s exactly what many schools across the country have done, and they have chosen surveillance technologies similar to those used in international airports. Although privacy experts continue to debate about the best uses for these sophisticated tools, having a high-end school district surveillance system in place is one of the best ways to save lives in the event of a crisis.


Among the surveillance technologies US schools invested in include:


Facial recognition

Cameras with facial recognition features helps identify and deter predators. Some cameras include tracking, live coverage, infrared, motion detection, and the ability to allow local law enforcement to access the system in case a situation arises. This is a useful feature that can help first responders assess and react appropriately to emergencies before they even arrive on the scene.


Object recognition

Often times, a violent crime committed on  campus begins with someone sneaking in a weapon. One of the first questions to arise is how did the perpetrator get them into the school? Where did they pass? Where did they hide the weapons? Was it hidden in a way that human eyes couldn’t detect?


Cameras with object recognition software can help with that. And some schools are opting for a double feature: facial recognition with object recognition. Faces will be matched against a database containing profiles of gang members, sex offenders, and employees who have been fired. The object recognition software of the camera will search for weapons and other items that are prohibited.


License plate tracking

Getaway vehicles make it easier for criminals to escape from the scene of a crime. With license plate reading (LPR) cameras, it’s now easier for law enforcement to determine if the car was stolen or if its owner is wanted for arrest.


Keeping track of someone who has committed a crime is difficult. However, including LPR cameras as part of a school district surveillance system increases the chances of tracking the suspect as they go.


Concerns raised

Schools have been applauded for increasing the security measures to ensure the safety of those inside campus, but concerns have been raised by experts in privacy and civil liberties. In particular, they are concerned over the unforeseen circumstances of having systems installed that include advanced features like bio-metric and location tracking features.


A surveillance system is a great option for tackling safety issues. However, parents and the school community need to be involved in the decision-making process. Not only that, schools and school districts should be fully transparent about how they gather information and how it is used, shared, or kept.


The installation of school surveillance systems is a complex debate. If students, teachers, parents and law enforcement can work together to use this technology correctly, it will increase security on school campuses.

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