Cedar Falls sets up new security cameras

Ben Olson/Staff Writer

Recently, Cedar Falls Community Schools were awarded a $31,000 grant that will help to improve security at Cedar Falls High School. The money will go towards 32 new video cameras connected to a central video recording system for monitoring. In addition, new door entry systems will be put into place on the exterior doors that will be controlled electronically with cards or key fobs.

“The Black Hawk County gaming commission provided us with this money. We are going to be able to double the amount of cameras we have here,” principal Richard Powers said.
The reasons for a security update are mainly for safety, but also because the current system is outdated.

“It’s like a cell phone that is five years old. You wouldn’t use it. Our current security system is six or seven years old. This grant helped reduce tax-payer burden on the community project. Overall, the upgrade could cost $75-80,000,” Powers said.

Currently, some areas of the school are not under camera view.
“We have a large multilevel building with several unsupervised areas. This opportunity to expand our security system may serve as a deterrent to theft and/or violence,” associate principal Dana Deines said.

There will also be other updates besides the 32 cameras provided by gaming commission grant.
“Our plans are to update our building access and security by introducing a new door entry system to better monitor access to each part of our building. The plan will have five or six doors converted to an electronic key lock system with a sensor system to monitor all other outside doors,” Deines said.

The advantages of an electronic locking system are that more doors will be locked down and staff won’t have to worry about losing an expensive key.

“One-hundred percent of doors won’t be open 100 percent of the time anymore. We are planning on every teacher having an electronic key to the new system, and police will have access to the camera monitoring,” Powers said.

The new cameras have much better image quality and storage capacity than the current ones, and they aren’t limited to views inside the hall anymore.

“Most of our current cameras are focused inside the building and around main entrances and corridors. With the proposed updates, we may be able to monitor behavior both inside and outside the building,” Deines said.

Overall, the new security measures provide an update and maintain safety for our school.
“The purpose of this is not targeted at catching tardy students. We are fine tuning to make things safe, but at the same time we aren’t trying to lock down the school completely,” Powers said.


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