Farmington Schools officials approve security cameras for buses

Farmington Public Schools officials last week approved a bid that will equip school buses with surveillance cameras.

Savings from the 2015 bond technology fund will cover the $199,050 cost of the video surveillance system. The annual operating cost, about $1,200, will come out of the general fund.

According to a memo from district consultant Plante Moran, the basic system includes interior bus cameras and mobile digital video recorders, with wireless offload capabilities. The “offload” would allow video to be transmitted wirelessly for storage on a local server or disk.

Officials awarded the bid to 247 Security Inc., which is based in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Jon Manier, Director of PreK-12 Instructional Support Services, said during the September 4 Board of Trustees meeting that the idea for the cameras came through the district’s Technology Steering Committee. 

“It was on a project list that we hoped to have funds in the technology portion of the bond to complete this project,” he said.

Superintendent George Heitsch said during an August bid review that the surveillance system did not displace anything on the bond list. While it was not originally proposed, recent events drove the project forward.

“We have heard from the community that it would be a desirable product to have on our buses and with the recent activities and concerns about school safety, it heightened our awareness of the need for it even more,” he said.